Lawyers have been unable to identify parents of 545 children separated by the Trump Administration in 2017
Murray: “Because of the Administration’s calculated cruelty, 545 children have not seen their parents since 2017—and have no idea if or when they will ever see them again.”
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement in response to reporting that lawyers have still been unable to track down the parents of 545 children who were separated by the Trump Administration in 2017 under the pilot program of its family separation policy.
“Evil is too kind a word for what the Trump Administration has done here. Because of the Administration’s calculated cruelty, 545 children have not seen their parents since 2017—and have no idea if or when they will ever see them again. As a mother and a grandmother, I cannot imagine the pain these families are going through. I am outraged that our President has made this nightmare an enduring reality for so many families. The staggering inhumanity of this President’s treatment of these children belongs in the darkest chapters of our nation’s history—the ones we can never forget and must never repeat.
“We need to do everything we can to reunify these families—and we need to pass the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act so that no President can ever do this again.”
In 2019, Senator Murray introduced the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act which would create clear, non-negotiable standards for the treatment of children in America’s care—putting an end to the Trump Administration’s cruel and neglectful treatment of children at the U.S.-Mexico border, and reforming how children fleeing persecution are treated between the moment at which they arrive at our borders to claim asylum and the ultimate resolution of their asylum case.
Senator Murray has been pressing hard for oversight of how the Administration is addressing the fallout from its inhumane family separation policy. In 2018, she pressed for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to conduct a comprehensive review of the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program. The report, which was released earlier this year, found among other issues that a lack of preparation impeded HHS’s ability to identify, care for, and reunify separated children.