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Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

House Foreign Affairs Democrats Urge Pompeo to Reunify Children with Deported Parents

Jul 25, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; and Foreign Affairs Committee members Reps. Norma Torres (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Albio Sires (D-NJ), and Joaquin Castro (D-TX) today demanded that Secretary Pompeo ensure that U.S. embassies work to reunite families forcibly separated by the Trump Administration. On Monday, the Administration admitted that as many as 463 of these parents have been deported out of the United States, while their children remain in U.S. detention facilities. In a letter to Secretary Pompeo, the Members underscored the need for the Department to coordinate efforts by our embassies to swiftly and safely reunify separated families.

“To separate these children from their parents is disgusting and unconscionable. To then deport the parents from our country is a sign of just how far this Administration will go to demonstrate its hatred and vitriol towards immigrants. We urge you to instruct our embassies in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to do everything in their power to ensure the immediate reunification of these families,” the Members wrote.

Full text of the letter can be found here and below:

Dear Mr. Secretary,

We were deeply disturbed by the Administration’s court filing on Monday stating that as many as 463 parents whose children were forcibly separated from them by President Trump are no longer in the United States. To separate these children from their parents is disgusting and unconscionable. To then deport the parents from our country is a sign of just how far this Administration will go to demonstrate its hatred and vitriol towards immigrants. We urge you to instruct our embassies in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to doeverything in their power to ensure the immediate reunification of these families.

On June 22nd, we 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. Fortunately, you do not need our legislation to reunite the families the President has torn apart. The Trump Administration can take the actions laid out in our legislation immediately on its own. We urge you to do just this.

At a House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 11th, members pressed the State Department on what you were doing abroad to help reunify families that had been affected by the Trump Administration’s barbaric family-separation policy. The answer was deafening silence. Knowing that as many as 463 parents of migrant children have been deported, it is essential that you instruct our embassies in the Northern Triangle to immediately get to work in facilitating family reunification.

Time is of the essence in reunifying the families that President Trump has torn apart. While the State Department did not cause this mess, it’s up to every part of the executive branch to reunite families as the courts have demanded. We look forward to hearing from you on the immediate actions you will take to resolve this urgent issue.

Sincerely,

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