The U.S. Homeland Security Department said the government has reunited 522 children have been reunited with parents in the US and plans are afoot to reunite other 16 children over the next 24 hours.
The department said in a statement U.S. Customs and Border Protection expects a small number of children separated for reasons other than zero tolerance would remain separated, including if the familial relationship cannot be confirmed.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order to end his policy of separating immigrant children from their families on the U.S.-Mexico border, after images of youngsters in cages sparked outrage at home and abroad.
As of June 20, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had 2,053 separated minors being cared for in HHS-funded facilities, and it was “working with relevant agency partners to foster communications and work towards reuniting every minor and every parent or guardian via well-established reunification processes.”
HHS also said in a release that it has a process to “ensure that family members know the location of their children and have regular communication after separation.”
A complaint reported by the national news media is that some parents did not know where their children were and had little or no communication with them.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has dedicated the Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Texas as the primary family reunification center.
Most of the children first separated from and then united eith their families are from Central America, especially Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.>