WASHINGTON – The United States announced Saturday that it has reunited 522 immigrant children with their families who were separated after crossing the Mexican border, in what is the first tangible consequence of the executive decree signed by the US President.
The Department of Homeland Security released a statement which also gives some details on its plan to reunite immigrant families that were separated as a result of the “zero tolerance” policy of Donald Trump, which began to be implemented in April.
According to the statement, up until 20 June the Department of Health and Human Services had 2,053 minors in their custody, although only 17 percent of whom were separated from their parents while the remaining 83 percent were children who travelled alone to the US.
A group of Democratic Congressmen from Florida on Saturday visited a shelter for undocumented immigrants in Homestead, south of Miami, and reported it to be in good condition.
Following the visit and during a meeting with the press outside the center, the Congressmen said that the question now was when the 70 children living in the center, after getting separated from their parents at the border, will be reunited with their families.
Senator Bill Nelson, part of the group, pointed out that the staff of the center, which has a total of about 1,200 undocumented children between 13 and 17 years of age, have informed him that the vast majority of the 70 children have been able to speak on the phone with their parents, which was “good news.”
Hundreds of protesters were also gathering outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, holding placards saying “Where are the children” and placing teddy bears and other toys at the site.
In San Diego, southern California, some 5,000 people gathered on Saturday to protest against the immigration policy and the separation of seized families at the border.
According to an epa photographer on the scene, protesters were heard shouting “Where is humanity?” and “Shame,” while marching to the offices of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to express their opposition to the treatment of immigrants and refugees by the current Trump administration.