The Department of Homeland Security issued a memo Thursday detailing the efforts that the Trump administration has made in reunifying illegal immigrants with children who are under the age of 5. The information in the report indicated that more than half the children required by court order have been reunified with adults. The remaining children could not be placed for a number of concerning reasons related to the adults involved.
What are the details of the memo?
According to the memo, under order of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, three agencies — the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security — made their best attempts in reunifying alien minors with parents and/or guardians.
A portion of the memo, issued with a joint statement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, and DHS Secretary Kirsjen Nielsen, said:
Dedicated teams at the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Justice have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of Ms. L class members. As of this morning, the initial reunifications were completed. Throughout the reunification process our goal has been the well-being of the children and returning them to a safe environment. Our agencies’ careful vetting procedures helped prevent the reunification of children with an alleged murderer, an adult convicted of child cruelty, and adults determined not to be the parent of the child.
Despite the positive tenor of the reunification announcement, the memo made a grave warning to those considering illegal entry into the U.S.:
Certain facts remain: The American people gave this administration a mandate to end the lawlessness at the border, and President Trump is keeping his promise to do exactly that. Our message has been clear all along: Do not risk your own life or the life of your child by attempting to enter the United States illegally. Apply lawfully and wait your turn.
The statement noted that the U.S. immigration system is "the most generous in the world," but the law must be followed.
What are the stats?
Of 103 children covered by the court case and who are under the age of 5:
● 57 children have been reunified with adults as of Thursday
● 46 children were considered ineligible for reunification
Of the 46 children ineligible for reunification:
● 22 were considered ineligible due to safety concerns
*1 adult is undergoing treatment for communicable disease
*1 adult planned for the child to live with an adult charged with the sexual abuse of a child
*1 adult reportedly had previously abused the child
*1 adult reportedly provided a falsified birth certificate
*7 adults were determined not to be a parent of the children with which they were trying to reunite
*11 adults had a "serious criminal history" including child cruelty, kidnapping, human smuggling, kidnapping, and domestic violence
● 24 children were considered ineligible for reunification due to personal adult circumstances
*12 adults were deported and the U.S. is making contact with them
*9 adults are in federal custody for other offenses
*2 adults are in custody of state jails
*1 adult has reportedly been out of pocket for over a year