Officials are still trying to contact the parents of 368 migrant children who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border during the Trump administration, according to court documents filed Wednesday, reports CNN.
A group of pro-bono lawyers organized by the ACLU said they believe 275 of the 368 remaining children’s parents were deported after they were separated. Efforts to track those parents down in their home countries are ongoing, the lawyers said.
Approximately 80 children’s parents are believed to be in the United States, the lawyers said, though the government has not provided any information on the 13 remaining children or their parents, the news outlet reported.
"We are making progress but there is still a long way to go," Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and one of the lead attorneys representing the separated families, said in a statement provided to The Hill on Thursday.
The group of lawyers has been trying to contact the parents of the children through telephone calls as well as "on-the-ground searches" abroad, which has been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Hill reported.
"These searches are ongoing … and we have recently devoted additional resources to these efforts," the court documents read.
Lawyers estimate over 5,500 families were separated under the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy in 2018 and during an earlier pilot program.
The Biden administration's family reunification task force now estimates that more than 2,100 families remain apart, NBC News reported. Over 5,000 migrant children are believed to have been separated from their parents under the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy.
Last month, the Biden administration announced the first family reunifications, with parents from Central and South America being brought to the United States on humanitarian parole, The Hill noted.
Fran Beyer ✉
Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.
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