Ns News Online Desk: The Trump administration said it knows the locations of all children removed from their parents as the result of the zero tolerance immigration policy and announced a hotline for separated families to call, according to a report.
The Department of Homeland Security released the fact sheet – “zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification” – late Saturday and said it is working to reunite the children with their parents, the Associated Press reported.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has posted notices in all of its detention centers notifying detained parents or guardians looking to find or communicate with their children to call the Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center at 800-203-7001 or email information@ORRNCC.com. The hotline will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The information will be sent to the Health and Human Services facility where the minor is located. Parents who are deported must request that their children be removed with them, a break from the past when many parents chose to be removed without their children.
But the fact sheet doesn’t say how long the process to reunite families might take. The Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Texas has been established as the staging area for families to be reunited.
As of June 20, 2,053 separated children are in the care of HHS and 522 kids have been reunited with their parents, the fact sheet said. The updated information comes just days after President Trump did an about-face and signed an executive order last Wednesday stopping the separation of families.
He had blamed Democrats and Congress even though his Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the zero-tolerance policy in April.
During a campaign-style speech Saturday night in Las Vegas, Trump said he believes he has a winning hand with his stand on immigration. “I like the issue for our election, too,” he said about Democrats. Our issue is strong borders, no crime. Their issue is open borders. Let MS-13 all over our country.”