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Press Release // Family Reunification

Family Reunification Taskforce Provides Hope for Migrant Families Separated by Trump

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LIRS Staff

February 2, 2021

Contact: Timothy Young | | 443-257-6310

Washington D.C. – Today, President Biden announced the highly anticipated task force that will seek to reunite migrant families separated at the border during the Trump administration as a result of its “Zero Tolerance” policy. The Trump administration oversaw the separation of more than 5,500 families, and the parents of more than 600 children have not been reached.

The task force will be an interagency effort, expected to be led by the Department of Homeland Security with the support of the Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, one of just two organizations called upon by the government to reunite more than 1,100 families at the height of the Family Separation crisis:

“This is a monumental first step in addressing the imperative question of how we make these families whole again. Our child welfare experts saw both the irreparable damage of separation, as well as the unbridled joy of reunification throughout our work reuniting more than 1,100 children with their parents. We hope and pray to witness once again the relief and comfort of 600 more reunions that should have happened years ago. This undertaking will require hard work, but a high-profile interagency taskforce demonstrates the Biden administration’s commitment to righting this egregious wrong.

Healing cannot happen without accountability. Not only should these families be reunited and granted legal status, the Justice Department must build and act on its thorough investigation to hold accountable those who allowed our government to traffic in kidnapping.

For too long, politicians have succumbed to bad-faith fearmongering as they militarize the border and criminalize the very concept of migration. It is incumbent upon all of our elected officials to end the rampant separation and detention of migrants, and instead invest in community-based alternatives. The Family Case Management Program preserves the core principle of family unity and ensures high compliance rates with immigration requirements at a fraction of the taxpayer and moral cost of detention. Only in heeding our better angels and respecting the humanity of migrant children and parents can we realize the dream of justice and liberty that is, truly, for all.”

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