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Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

Castro Remarks on Tomorrow’s Family Reunification Deadline

Jul 25, 2018
Press Release

- As Delivered – Click Here for Video

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, today made the following remarks at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus press conference on the court-ordered deadline for the Trump Administration to reunite all children between ages five and 17 with their loved ones:

“Hi, good morning. Thank you everybody for being here. My name is Joaquin Castro and I’m the First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. And I’m joined today obviously by Senator Durbin, Luis Gutiérrez, Judy Chu, and will be joined by a few other members of the House of Representatives.

“As y’all know, the Administration ripped nearly 3,000 children away from their parents after the government implemented the Trump zero-tolerance prosecution policy in April. As a result, these children were sent to federal facilities where they face subpar conditions as I saw for myself when I visited a few of them in the last few months.

“Such conditions make these kids more susceptible to PTSD, anxiety, behavioral problems, and weakened educational outcomes. These things will likely last with these children for the rest of their lives.

“Last month, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the government to stop family separations and reunite children with their loved ones on a specific timetable. Tomorrow is the deadline to reunite the 2,500+ children ages five to 17.

“The government—the Trump Administration—blew past the first deadline. As of Tuesday, the government has only reunited about 879 children.

“It’s inconceivable that they’ll be able to reunify the remaining children by the deadline.

“To make matters worse, recently released data shows that nearly 500 parents were possibly deported without their kids.

“This isn’t the first time the Administration missed a court-ordered deadline for family reunifications. Given this, Judge Sabraw should appoint a Special Master to ensure this Administration upholds these court orders.

“Several questions remain: What will become of these kids? Does the government plan on finding the parents? The answers are unknown because the Administration refuses to respond to any congressional inquiries my colleagues and I have sent in.

“Later today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will meet with Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen. Hopefully, we can get clearer and firmer answers from her.

“It’s clear that much work remains. We must hold the Trump Administration accountable for reuniting these families and ensure that they’re not detained indefinitely.

“And now it’s my pleasure to introduce Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.”

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