Comments trickle in as Homeland Security asks for input to avoid migrant family separation

Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 6:22pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 9:11am
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The Department of Homeland Security is asking for public input on how to avoid separating families at the border. The request comes as a task force set up by the Biden administration continues its search for families separated under former President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance policy. 

Enacted in 2017, the policy allowed U.S. border officers to charge adult migrants apprehended at the border with criminal offenses and send their children to different facilities. Under it, more than 5,000 children were forced apart from their parents, including a 4-month-old baby. In a September update, the task force said more than 1,600 children had still not been reunited and almost 400 were still missing entirely. 

In the comment request posted earlier this month, DHS said input received would be used in a report advising how the U.S. can avoid similar separations in the future.

Suggestions so far include community-based alternatives to detention, and providing counseling and linguistic services at ports of entry. 

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