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The Financial Express

US identifies 3,900 children separated at border for reunion with parents

| Updated: June 15, 2021 11:23:12


Chanel, 7, and her sister Adriana, 10, both unaccompanied minors travelling alone from Honduras, sits among other asylum-seeking children on May 6 as they wait to be transported to a US border patrol processing facility after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico. –Reuters file photo Chanel, 7, and her sister Adriana, 10, both unaccompanied minors travelling alone from Honduras, sits among other asylum-seeking children on May 6 as they wait to be transported to a US border patrol processing facility after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico. –Reuters file photo

A task force, formed by US President Joe Biden, has identified roughly 3,900 children separated from parents at the US-Mexico border in an effort to reunite migrant families separated by Donald Trump’s administration.

 “Among the 3,900 separated children identified, nearly 1,800 have been reunited with a parent. Nearly all of those happened before the creation of the task force,” reports Reuters citing a report of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released on Tuesday.

At least 1,700 cases remain under review, the report said.

While the overall number of children still separated from their parents is unknown, the report estimates it could be over 2,000.

The task force launched in February has reunited only seven children with parents, showing a slow pace in progress. Another 29 families are set to be reunited in the coming weeks, the report said.

Biden issued an executive order shortly after taking office that established a task force to reunite children separated from their families at the US-Mexico border under former President Donald Trump, calling such separations a "human tragedy."

The Trump administration split apart thousands of migrant families under a blanket 'zero-tolerance' policy that called for the prosecution of all unauthorized border crossers in spring 2018. Government watchdogs and advocates have found the separations began before and continued after the policy.

The task force submitted its first 120-day progress report to Biden on June 2, a senior DHS official said during a call with reporters on Monday.

The official defended the small number of families reunified to date, saying the agency "chose intentionally to start slow" to address logistical hurdles so that the process can be scaled up in the future.

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