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ACLU discusses problems tracking down parents of kids separated at border

Posted at 4:38 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 20:51:10-04

(KGTV) - On Friday, Attorney and Deputy Director of ACLU’s National Immigrants’ Rights Project Lee Gelernt spoke to ABC 10News about how his staff members have not found the parents of 545 children nationwide who were separated by the Trump Administration.

“We have found hundreds of others but there remains [to be] hundreds who we have not found,” he said in a Zoom interview.

Earlier this week, the ACLU revealed the numbers to San Diego Federal Court Judge Dana Sabraw in a new filing for a case stemming from a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, challenging the president's practice of asylum-seeking family separations, which were put into place after he took over office.

“We then had to go door to door on the ground in Central America looking for these parents. [It was a] painstaking, dangerous process. We were making some progress but ultimately the pandemic hit and that slowed things down,” he added.

Gelernt said the children are now living with relatives and foster families in the U.S., after they were released from government detention. He added that the ACLU will continue searching for their parents and advocating for their return.

“We think that given what these families have gone through, their children ripped away from them, they deserve legal status in the United States,” he said.

ABC 10News reached out to ICE for comment, which referred us to DHS. We are waiting for a reply.

A status conference is set for Dec. 4.