The Trump Administration May Have to Locate and Reunite More Separated Families

“The hallmark of a civilized society is measured by how it treats its people and those within its borders.”

David J. Phillip/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

On Friday, a federal judge ruled that the Trump administration is responsible for immigrant children who have been taken away from their parents, including those separated before the Department of Homeland Security instituted a “zero tolerance” policy at the border.

In March 2018, the American Civil Liberties filed a class action lawsuit claiming that the United States has “broadly separated” families at the border and asking a judge to force the Trump administration to find those children and reunite them with their parents. A January report from the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General revealed that thousands more children may have been separated from their parents at the border between June 2017 and May 2018.

The ACLU argued that those children should also be included in the class action lawsuit and at a preliminary hearing, Southern District of California Judge Dana Sabraw agreed. “The hallmark of a civilized society is measured by how it treats its people and those within its borders,” he wrote in his ruling.

The Trump administration had argued that locating the children would be burdensome. Officials do not know the exact number of families who have been affected by the policy because it failed to implement a tracking system. In November 2018, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that there were more than 14,000 children being held in government facilities. 

Meanwhile, on Saturday morning, Trump tweeted about the large numbers of undocumented immigrants apprehended at the border.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate