Home / Politics / 182 kidnapped migrant children still in U.S. custody, nearly two months after court deadline

182 kidnapped migrant children still in U.S. custody, nearly two months after court deadline

EL PASO, TX - JUNE 21:  Protesters walk though the streets as they protest against the Trump administration's immigration policies on June 21, 2018 in El Paso, Texas. Before President Trump signed an executive order yesterday that the administration says halts the practice of separating families seeking asylum, more than 2,300 immigrant children had been separated from their parents in the "zero-tolerance" policy for border crossers.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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There are 182 migrant children who continue to remain separated from their parents, including six kids age five and under, nearly two months after a federal judge’s reunification deadline. Having torn families apart with no plan set in place on how to reunite them, a new court filing shows officials continue to mangle piecing back together the children and parents they tore apart.

“In the past week,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said, “parents have not been informed of changes in travel plans for their child and have traveled great distances only to have their child not arrive.” In other instances, “parents have not been given sufficient advance notice of an arriving child and the child has had to wait overnight, or for several days, for the parent to arrive at the reunification site.”

Lawyers had already asked officials for more help in finding deported parents, MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff reported last week, including placing billboards and radio ads in their home countries. But the court filing shows that 141 children of deported parents continue to remain in custody.

These kidnapped children continue to languish as officials are detaining migrant kids in record numbers, with 12,800 migrant children in Health and Human Services (HHS) custody, the vast majority of them minors who came here by themselves. But instead of getting them placed with sponsors, usually a relative who is already in the U.S., officials are setting up roadblock after roadblock.

The barbaric “zero tolerance” policy is a humanitarian disaster created by Donald Trump and his officials, yet not one of them has been jailed for violating a judge’s order, has been fired, or has been forced to resign. The Republican-led Congress has the power to investigate these abuses and haul in officials for questioning, yet it has abdicated its duty. These complicit legislators need to get the hell out. Free the children, and lock up the officials who jailed them in the first place.

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