One of the more shameful immigration policies by former president Trump was the separation of families, specifically hundreds of children stripped from their parents with minimal efforts to keep them together. President Biden announced this week that he will be making extensive efforts to undo much of that damage. Hundreds of migrant children still separated from their parents by the Trump administration may be allowed to reunite with their families in the United States, and even better news is that some families may have the opportunity to stay, according to the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Reuniting the families is one of the Biden administration’s top priorities. During former President Donald Trump’s time in office, more than 5,500 migrant children were separated from their parents when they entered the country, and more than 1,400 parents were ultimately deported without their children.
Secretary Mayorkas indicated they are hopeful to reunite the families either here or in the country of origin, and that the government plans on giving the migrants the choice. This would likely entail granting lawful pathways for these families to remain in the United States, and to address the family needs so they are acting as restoratively as possible. DHS said in a statement that the option of reuniting and staying in the United States would be provided “to the extent permissible under law” but did not provide more elaboration. Advocates representing families who have been separated were mostly cautiously optimistic about the news but hopefully more details and information will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. The separated families suffered tremendous injustices because of what the Trump administration did, and the US government owes them this type of restitution, which could include a permanent pathway to citizenship, care, and other resources. About 105 families have already been reunited since Biden took office, and hopefully that number will continue to grow.