During a call with reporters this morning, a DHS official confirmed the family reunification task force has not yet reunited any migrant families separated during the Trump administration, saying the task force has been focused on data and information collection / verification.
I asked about parents in Central America already identified by @AlOtroLado_Org @JusticeInMotion @ACLU who remain separated from their children and wish to reunite with them in the US.

The DHS official said the cases are being processed, saying the gov't can't control some steps.
The DHS official says the gov't has requested information for some of these parents, and that some need to secure travel documents.

"Nothing has been frozen in place because we’ve been looking through and checking other files," the official said. "We’re doing it simultaneously.”
As of late February, the parents of 506 children who were separated had yet to be located by a steering committed created in the ACLU-led court case.

The DHS official said the Biden admin. is reviewing DOJ and HHS files that may help lawyers locate these "unreachable" parents.
The DHS official also noted that the family reunification task force is reviewing 5,600 newly-located government files to determine if there are any additional instances of migrant families being separated.

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More from @camiloreports

3 Apr
New — Border Patrol facilities holding migrant children are "stretched beyond thin," an independent monitor concluded after visiting the sites, saying acute overcrowding has created unsafe conditions for thousands of minors in U.S. custody.
Social distancing was "functionally impossible" in the holding facilities, the monitor said, calling the level of overcrowding "not sustainable."

In one over-capacity facility, there were not enough caregivers for 500 migrant children under the age of 12.
“The open spaces designed for walking, reading, or play are also fully occupied by mats."

“The showers designed for an occupancy of 1,000 are occupied all day, with some children reporting that they did not receive showers for days at a time.”
Read 4 tweets
2 Apr
A Houston church hall converted into a makeshift emergency shelter for migrant children is set to receive 450 teenage girls within the next 24 hours, per an HHS official.

This marks the opening of the 7th emergency HHS housing facility for migrant children in less than 2 months.
This is the second emergency HHS housing facility designed to accommodate migrant girls.

HHS is set to open at least 3 additional emergency housing sites in Texas. Collectively, the 10 emergency facilities will be able to accommodate more than 16,700 migrant children.
The emergency housing sites for migrant children opened under Pres. Biden:

1. Influx facility in Carrizo Springs, TX
2. Camp for oil workers in Midland, TX
3. Dallas convention center
4. San Diego convention center
5. San Antonio expo center
6. Fort Bliss
7. Houston church hall
Read 4 tweets
2 Apr
NEW — Nearly 19,000 unaccompanied children entered U.S. border custody in March, an all-time monthly high that has forced the Biden administration to house migrant teens in convention centers, camps for oil workers and a military post.

With @AdamVerdugo:
The historic number eclipses previous record-high migration flows of Central American teenagers and children that strained the U.S. government's border processing capacity under Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Previous monthly high was nearly 12,000 in May 2019.
U.S. agents along the southern border carried out approximately 170,000 total apprehensions in March — a 70% increase from the previous month.

Nearly 100,000 of those taken into custody were single adults, whom U.S. border officials have continued to swiftly expel.
Read 6 tweets
2 Apr
NEW — Migrant children in two emergency HHS housing sites in Texas, a camp for oil workers and a convention center, have limited access to case managers, phone calls to family, recreation and education, attorneys who inspected the facilities told CBS News.
"Case management is the most important issue because it minimizes the time children are there," lawyer Carlos Holguín. "We understand the government is contending with a difficult situation, but they need to minimize the amount of time the children spend in this type of facility"
"For every child that I spoke to, their first question, their first concern was related to how soon they were going to be released to their family. The kids didn't have an understanding of the sponsor release process," @NCYLnews's Melissa Adamson told CBS News.
Read 10 tweets
27 Mar
New tonight — The Biden administration announced it will issue a rule to protect the DACA program from a court challenge that threatens the legal protections of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. cbsnews.com/news/biden-adm… via @CBSNews
León Rodríguez, who oversaw DACA as USCIS director, said the rule will eliminate "one potentially significant area of challenge" faced by the program.

Judge Andrew Hanen is set to issue a ruling in a lawsuit seeking to have the Obama-era program declared unlawful and terminated.
Judge Hanen concluded in 2018 that the Obama administration should have implemented DACA through the rule-making process and allowed the public to weigh in on the policy before it was enacted.

The new Biden administration rule would be open to public comments.
Read 5 tweets
26 Mar
JUST IN — The Dept. of Homeland Security will be issuing a new regulation concerning the DACA program to comply with President Biden’s instructions to “preserve and fortify” the Obama-era protections for Dreamers, the Justice Department tells a federal court.
The notice was provided to federal judge Andrew Hanen, who is set to rule on the legality of the DACA program.

Texas wants Hanen to declare DACA unlawful and slowly kill the program.

Unlike the Trump administration, the Biden administration is defending DACA in court.
Judge Hanen, who has previously said DACA is likely unlawful, scheduled a hearing on this key case on Tuesday.
Read 4 tweets

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