July 17, 2018

Castro, Engel, Torres, Espaillat, Sires Demand State Department Action on Family Reunification

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, joined Congressman Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; and Foreign Affairs Committee members Reps. Norma Torres, Adriano Espaillat, and Albio Sires today in issuing the following statement on reports that the Trump Administration has failed to comply with a court order to reunify children under the age of five with their parents because some of the parents have been deported:

“At a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday, members pressed the State Department on what it was doing abroad to help reunify families abroad that had been affected by the Trump Administration’s barbaric family-separation policy. The answer was deafening silence.

“Now we know some of the parents subjected to this inhumane practice are indeed back in their home countries. So it’s time for the State Department to step up. Secretary Pompeo should instruct our embassies to do whatever it takes to find these parents and get them back with their children. This horror must end.

“We will continue to press the Department to inform Congress when all parents who have been deported have been reunited with their children, and we will push Congress to advance our bill requiring the State Department to take these steps. The State Department didn’t cause this mess, but it’s up to every part of the Trump Administration to reunite families as the courts have demanded.”

Background: On June 22nd, Reps. Engel, Torres and Espaillat introduced the Central America Family Protection and Reunification Act (H.R. 6193) which requires the State Department – through our embassies in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala—to prioritize supporting governments and citizens of these countries to facilitate immediate family reunification. Reps. Sires and Castro are co-sponsors of the legislation. The Trump Administration could take the actions laid out in this legislation immediately on its own.

# # #