If the thousands of migrant children who have been taken from their families are ever to be rejoined with their parents, then President Donald Trump must appoint a “Family Reunification Czar” immediately.
The US government has pulled children away from their parents and shipped these bewildered youngsters all over the country. It is unclear where all of these kids are right now. The parents often don’t know. Although the media has recently been allowed to visit a few facilities, the government refuses to grant the media access to all of the locations where children are being held — including the “tender age” facilities for infants taken from their mothers.
As it stands, many migrant parents have little reassurance that they will quickly find their kids. The mothers and fathers themselves are often poor and non-English speaking; those are two big barriers to navigating the complex bureaucracy in which they find themselves. Even lawyers are struggling to navigate the system well enough to figure out where their clients’ kids are — let alone reunite with them.
There is no high-level, overarching coordinator working to fix these problems — or wring real changes out of the tangle of federal departments, agencies, local governments and private sector service providers that are involved.