U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts urged the Trump administration Monday to provide a list of all the migrant children and parents separated at the United States’ southern border under the White House’s “zero tolerance” approach to immigration.
The Massachusetts Democrats joined other senators in asking Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security officials for anonymized, de-identified information by July 6 on all of the children and adults affected by the controversial policy.
Stressing that they are “deeply concerned by reports of chaotic attempts to reunify parents and children that have been separated at the border,” the lawmakers sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen requesting the status of efforts to reunite migrant families — particularly in the wake of recent executive action.
“Since the president’s executive order was signed on June 20, 2018, the administration has repeatedly indicated that families would be reunited, claiming that ‘Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services have a process established to ensure that family members know the location of their children and have regular communication after separation’ … However, the hastily signed order provided no clarity on how to reunify families or how to handle families that have already been separated or new families that cross the border seeking asylum,” they wrote.
The senators further raised concerns that “even as the administration works to reunify families, it continues to deport adults and family members who had children taken from them — reducing their chances of reunification even further.”