Lawyers appointed to locate migrant families separated by the Trump administration are struggling to find the parents of 545 children.
According to a filing from the ACLU on Tuesday reported by NBC News, many fear the administration deported two-thirds of those parents to Central America without their children.
“It is critical to find out as much as possible about who was responsible for this horrific practice while not losing sight of the fact that hundreds of families have still not been found and remain separated,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.
He added, “There is so much more work to be done to find these families. People ask when we will find all of these families and, sadly, I can’t give an answer. I just don’t know. But we will not stop looking until we have found every one of the families, no matter how long it takes. The tragic reality is that hundreds of parents were deported to Central America without their children, who remain here with foster families or distant relatives.”
The group Justice in Motion released a statement to announce it is searching for the parents in Mexico and Central America.
“While we have already located many deported parents, there are hundreds more who we are still trying to reach,” the group said.
It added, “It’s an arduous and time-consuming process on a good day. During the pandemic, our team of human rights defenders is taking special measures to protect their own security and safety, as well as that of the parents and their communities.”
Trump made the border wall a central promise to his 2016 campaign.
The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear an appeal by the president’s administration of a ruling suggesting he overstepped his legal abilities by redirecting military funds to pay for the wall, as IJR previously reported.