Lawyers trace parents of 100 more children separated at border by controversial Trump policy

Officials still trying to find families of 506 youngsters taken from parents

Baby girl returned to Honduran mother after separated and detained at US-Mexico border

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Lawyers have traced the parents of more than 100 children separated at the US border by the controversial Trump immigration policy.

But officials are still trying to track down the parents of 506 children taken from their families on the US-Mexico border, according to a new court filing.

It is the first update on the search under the Biden administration and is down from last month when the immigration advocates were looking for the parents of 611 youngsters.

Joe Biden has called the Trump border separation policy a “human tragedy” and vowed earlier this month “to work to undo the mortal and national shame” of it.

Observers say that more than 5,500 families were separated as a result of the “zero tolerance” policy of the Trump administration.

Some of the youngsters taken from their parents or guardians were too young to talk or walk.

On 2 February the president signed an executive order directing the leaders of the  Justice, Homeland Security, State and Health and Human Services departments to create a task force to identify all the remaining children and reunited them “to the greatest extent possible.”

Last month, the Justice Department officially cancelled the “zero tolerance” policy in a memo to federal prosecutors.

The legal case was filed by the ACLU in 2018 after the separation of a Congolese woman from her seven-year-old daughter and has become a class action suit.

The parents of the 506 children include those already deported and those that remain in the US

Mr Trump announced his widely criticised policy in April 2018 after it underwent a trial in 2017, and its goal was to deter families from entering the US illegally, even those planning to apply for asylum.

When apprehended by Customs and Border Patrol agents, the parents were handed over to the Justice Department for prosecution, while the children were taken by the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Defendants believe that the work of the Task Force will resolve man y— if not all — outstanding issues in this litigation, and Defendants look forward to working with Plaintiffs with that goal in mind,” Wednesday’s court filing reads.

And it added that discussions were ongoing to “develop more comprehensive plans regarding how it will move forward.”

The advocates have reportedly faced serious challenges in their quest to reunite the children with their families.

These include incomplete and outdated information about the parents, families living in remote and rural locations in Mexico and Central America, and a suspicion of US authorities.

The coronavirus pandemic also forced advocates to suspend searches last year before hurricanes in Guatemala and Central America displaced thousands of people.

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