AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu
- The Department of Homeland Security says nearly a thousand migrant children are still separated.
- Nearly 4,000 kids were taken from their families at the US-Mexico border between 2017 and 2021.
- The Biden administration set up a task force in 2021 to reunite the families separated under Trump.
Nearly a thousand — or one out of every four — children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border by the Trump administration have yet to reunite with their families, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The DHS’s Family Reunification Task Force released a statement and fact sheet on Thursday detailing how many migrant children have been reunited and how many are still left without their families.
The task force said it identified 3,924 migrant kids who were taken from their families between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021, under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” border policy.
Out of those separated children, 2,926 have been reunited as of February 1, 2023, the Family Reunification Task Force said. The Family Reunification Task Force said it had reunited 600 children with their families, and the rest were reunited before the task force was established in February 2021.
The data leaves 998 migrant children who are still separated from their families.
The task force said that part of what has made it so difficult to reunite migrant families is that the Trump administration kept “patchwork at best” records of how many children were even taken in the first place.
The Council on Foreign Relations has reported that unaccompanied children are typically placed in group homes, foster care, or other long-term facilities while they await their reunions.
The reunification process can be an uphill battle at times because “The number of new families identified continues to increase, as families come forward and identify themselves,” according to the fact sheet.
But the task force said it “will not stop until all the separated families are afforded the opportunity for reunification.”