Advocates reiterate criminal investigations needed after number of children still separated rises

first_imgIf we’re fucking serious about righting the wrong done to these families by our nation, they must absolutely be reunited right here, along with other parents deported under the policy. “It’s not a difficult decision,” tweeted American Immigration Council counsel Aaron Reichlin-Melnick. “It’s not even a moderately tricky decision. It’s an easy decision. Right now, there are still at least 1,000 parents who are outside the United States who haven’t been able to reunite with their children who are still here. Let them in.”Nor can we back down for one second from the need for accountability. Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro has already called for the formation of either a human rights commission or a select committee to investigation abuses against families, telling Vox it’s “the right thing to do and also, in many ways, necessary for our country.” Reacting to the news of now 666 children separated under policy still without their parents, advocates continued pressing for accountability, including legal status and financial compensation for families, and prosecution of those who carried out these state-sanctioned abuses.“A criminal investigation is a critical and necessary step to ensure that such wrongs are never repeated,” Amnesty International USA researcher for refugee and migrant rights Denise Bell said in a statement received by Daily Kos. “There must be an effective investigation of, and where there is sufficient evidence, prosecution of all government officials, personnel, and contractors who are responsible for the abuses committed during this shameful period of our history—no matter their current or former level of office.”- Advertisement – Gelernt told NBC News last month that “[p]eople ask when we will find all of these families, and sadly, I can’t give an answer. I just don’t know. But we will not stop looking until we have found every one of the families, no matter how long it takes. The tragic reality is that hundreds of parents were deported to Central America without their children, who remain here with foster families or distant relatives.” – Advertisement –center_img Advocacy groups tasked by the court with reuniting separated families say that only now is the Trump administration offering assistance in reunification efforts, and only because of the intense public backlash to the reports that children kidnapped by officials during the “piloting” of family separation in 2017 continued to remain without their parents. “There have never been serious specific offers to help in concrete ways in the past,” American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt told NBC News.While President-elect Joe Biden recently committed to establishing a federal task to help reunite families, this latest NBC News report indicates that the question of where those reunifications will happen is still up in the air. “[A]ccording to two sources familiar with the incoming administration’s planning on immigration, Biden has so far not decided whether separated parents will be given the opportunity to come to the U.S. to reunite with their children and pursue claims to asylum,” the report says.- Advertisement –last_img

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