A former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday that the Trump administration “could be creating thousands of immigrant orphans in the U.S.” with its new policy of systematically separating migrant families at the border, NBC News reported.
“I can tell you from experience that it’s more difficult than it sounds,” former ICE Acting Director John Sandweg, who led the agency from 2013 to 2014, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “The parents end up on one track, the child ends up on another track.”
“If they don’t reunite these kids with their parents right away, what can happen is the kids will be stuck here in the United States for years. Guardians will be appointed. And the parent will be down in Honduras or Guatemala with no idea where their child is and no meaningful way to reunite.”
In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” prosecution policy for people apprehended at the border, including families. As a result, parents are charged criminally and transferred to the custody of U.S. marshals while their children are transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.
By now there are several anecdotal examples of families who have been unable to reunite following their separation as a result of the Trump administration’s policy.