The Biden administration has now reunited 500 children who had been separated from their parents as a result of the Trump-era zero-tolerance border policy.
For the past two years, the Biden administration has actively been working on reuniting the more than 1,000 children who had been separated from their parents because of the 2018 Trump policy.
Michelle Brané, executive director of the administration’s Family Reunification Task Force, said that this is a big milestone, but that physical reunification is only the first step for these children and families.
In a statement to the Hill, she added that “those are 500 individual children that are now with their parents.”
As part of the family reunification task, the Biden administration task force has had to find and contact the parents of these children, who are often not in the U.S. or might not be in their original home country.
The Trump policy led to the separation of 5,000 children from their parents before being suspended due to the public outrage caused.
Brané said the task force continues its efforts as they still have around 700 children that need to be reunified.
As part of their efforts in September 2021, the administration launched two websites together.gov and juntos.gov, which work as a portal that families can use to be reunified. So far more than 200 families have gone through the portal, while 150 families have contacted the government but have yet to go through processing.
There are also 150 children for whom parents could not be contacted or found.
Brané said that they continue to make progress and they have now been in contact with even more families that they had previously been unable to find.