June 28, 2018


Cite stories of immigrant mothers in MA separated from kids and told reunification process could take months

Washington, DC --- In the midst of the ongoing child separation crisis at the border, Congressman Joe Kennedy III and Senator Edward J. Markey today demanded answers regarding the reunification process from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Kennedy and Markey cited local examples of mothers now residing in Massachusetts whose children were taken from them at the border. These mothers have faced endless bureaucratic delays in reuniting with their children, being told the process could take several more months.

They wrote: "The separation of children from their parents is unacceptable and occurred irrespective of the reasons the families crossed the border in the first place, without regard to the safety and health of the children, and with a complete lack of foresight and planning. One woman seeking asylum in the United States, fleeing violence in her home country, is now in the United States on a legal basis as she awaits further action on her asylum claim, yet she may be separated from her young son for two more months due to delays in reunification."

Kennedy and Markey requested information from ORR regarding the process for reunification in light of the President's recent Executive Order and this week's decision by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California.

"We respectfully ask that your agency provide our offices with information related to the current process for fingerprinting, including but not limited to the average wait time for fingerprint appointments for parents seeking to reunite with their children; the number of staff and Department resources dedicated to fingerprinting and background checks; the justification for re-fingerprinting parents who already gave prints at the border; and whether or not any fingerprinting done under the banner of reunification has been used by your agency to identify additional adults for deportation," the letter continued.

For a full copy of the letter click here.


For Immediate Release:
June 28, 2018 

Dan Black (202) 225-5931

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