(USA Features) A new report released Wednesday found that no illegal immigrant families have been reunited during President Joe Biden’s term that were separated under his predecessor, President Donald Trump.
“Regarding the reunifications thus far, the task force has not directly reunified any families yet, and that’s because we really are trying to build the processes and the information,” an official with the Department of Homeland Security told Axios.
In early February, Biden signed an executive order creating a task force whose objective was to reunite migrant families, which was a signature campaign pledge.
At the time of the task force’s creation, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called the effort “not only an all-of-government, but an all-of-society effort to do what is right.”
Some 5,600 migrant children were believed to have been separated from family members during the Trump administration. DHS officials are still attempting to sort through cases and are moving “as quickly as we can do,” one official told Axios.
Officials said much information they inherited from the previous administration is “incomplete” but they were trying to be meticulous in reviewing the data “because we are very concerned about not retraumatizing” children.
“In the last week, we’ve made progress with the task force on reunifying the first group of separated families. The key will be whether that progress continues,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the American Civil Liberty Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project told the outlet.
Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, who was responsible for devising the separation policy, railed against Biden and his administration in February after reversing several policies he said added to then-surging migrant border crisis.
“What we’re seeing here is the cruelty and inhumanity of Joe Biden’s immigration policies,” Miller said.
“He came into office and announced that there’s an open door and that young people who come into this country illegally are going to be resettled instead of returned. He’s forcing thousands of young children into the arms of smugglers, into the arms of traffickers, into the arms of coyotes,” he told Laura Ingraham of Fox News.
“Children are being taken away from their families in the Northern Triangle – in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Those countries are being deprived of their future. These illegal immigrants are being put in harm’s way all because of a policy choice Joe Biden made to restore ‘catch and release.’ That is cruel, that is inhumane, and we are seeing the results of that right now,” he added.