WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — President Joe Biden vowed his administration would reunite immigrant families who were separated by the Trump administration. Now, the Department of Homeland Security said it’s taking the final steps for the first reunions under Biden to take place.
On CBS Monday morning, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the government is working with the ACLU to find some of the families.
“President Biden said we must reunite these families,” Mayorkas said. “He directed the creation of a task force of multiple department and agencies.”
California Sen. Alex Padilla said it is “encouraging news, yet again an example of what a difference a president makes.”
Padilla said that even after they’re reunited the families will need more support. Humanitarian agencies said some childresn were so young when they were taken by the government they’ve likely forgotten their parents and native languages.
“We just pray that both the children and the families as a whole get the support they need to reunite, take care of their emotional well being,” he said.
It will still be a difficult task for the Biden administration to reunite the remaining families. Trump administration officials told lawmakers they didn’t track the more than 5000 children they separated from their families.
“We have hundreds of families left and we will reunite them all,” Mayorkas said.
DHS said reunified families can apply to enter and remain in the US while their long-term status is decided.