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Erin Banco @ErinBanco
, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Re: Trump seeking extension on reunification of families. The identification process, at least as it is playing out in N.J., takes weeks if not months. One source I spoke to said it took one of her clients 3 MONTHS to go through the identification process
As in, proving the client was who she said she was, collecting the paperwork, doing the fingerprinting, the background check...
In other instances, parents in NJ have recently been asked to *text* pictures of their documents to an unidentified person in the facilities where their children reside. Then, they have to wait for the call to move forward...
Sometimes it is unclear for parents where their children are being held, advocates say. What's app is the mode of choice in terms of communication between the parent and the facilities (NJ and NY) ...
But if that one unidentified individual doesn't pick up the phone...then the parent is out of luck. They just have to wait.....or spend money to travel to the facility in person, show up and say "do you have my child?"
Oftentimes that one facility or shelter does not have the child and the parent has to travel elsewhere to find their children, advocates and lawyers say.
What's confusing for parents, and for everything, I think, is that these facilities often have several different locations (ie: shelters, homes, facilities), and it is not always clear where children stay in those clusters.
So, the headquarters are usually where parents travel to first in order to get some sort of confirmation that, in fact, their child is in that particular system
Even when the parent finally finds their child, they can't talk to their child or see them until they can prove they are in fact the parent.
And here's the thing: the children being held, advocates say, are young and scared and traumatized. When social workers in these facilities ask them who their parent is or how they got to the U.S., their answers aren't always spot on
So then, social workers have to bounce what the child says off of what the parent says happened. And sometimes those stories don't match...causing delays
But it is important to note---these delays aren't abnormal. Identification has always taken a long time. It is perhaps longer now given the new backlogs and uncertainty around the zero tolerance policy
yet it seems that in recent weeks, facilities are relying more on children to answer questions about not their own journey....but their parents'
And as all this is playing out there is a citizenship backlog in NJ...Here's my colleague @KellyHeyboer 's report on that:…
We're covering all this and more @njdotcom and my colleagues have done some incredible work on immigration not just in the past few weeks, but the past few years. (24 percent of our state's population is foreign born)
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