Local Civil Rights Groups Working to Reunite Illegal Immigrant Families

posted by 1200 WOAI -

Groups that are helping illegal immigrant parents reunited with their separated kids say that calling the government's response "disorganized" is a gross understatement, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

"There was no plan," Natalia Cornelio says.  "It's absolutely chaotic and cruel to separate these parents from their children without a very clear system to reunite them."

Cornelio works with the Texas Civil Rights Project, which is working with 300 migrants who were separated from their kids.  She says the bureaucratic red tape is yet another humiliation they're being faced with as they seek asylum.

The group has tracked some kids as far away as New York. And she says the Office of Refugee Resettlement workers are clueless to who they are caring for.

"The ORRs that receive them don’t even know that they've been separated from their parents as opposed to simply being an unaccompanied minor."

Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order stopping family separation, but that order made no mention was made of how it would reunite some 25-hundred adults with their kids.  

"For those children still in Border Patrol custody, we are reuniting them with parents or legal guardians returned to Border Patrol custody following prosecution," a CBP spokesperson said in the statement.

"As specified in the order, families will not be detained together when doing so would pose a risk to the child's welfare."

Cornelio says the families they work with have hope for reunification, but the government's slow-walk of the policy change is taking a toll on their spirit.

"I see grief and worry," she says.  "In some of these cases, the kids have special needs, so it's particular enhanced in those cases."

IMAGE; GETTY

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