A new Biden plan could end a troubling chapter in US history. Here's what we know

A new Biden plan could end a troubling chapter in US history. Here’s what we know

Originally Published in CNN

Catherine E. Shoichet - February 2, 2021

(CNN) The crisis that began when the Trump administration separated thousands of migrant families at the border still isn't over.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed an executive order forming a task force that could bring this chapter in US history to a close. Its mission: to reunite parents and children who remain separated.
The effort, he said, aims to "remove the stain" on the country's reputation for the harm the separations caused.
For years, CNN has been telling the stories of families who were targeted by the policy.
Moms like Beata Mejia, who sued to reunite with her son after the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy tore them apart. Children like Alejandro, who struggled to readjust to life after suffering trauma he never expected. And the lengthy courtroom battles to bring families back together.
There are so many troubling details in the stories we do know about the family separations policy and its aftermath. And there are still so many stories that we don't know yet.
Here's a recap of how we got here, what we know and what we don't:

We know...

The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics called it "government-sanctioned child abuse."
The government separated families without any plan for reuniting them.
Parents wrote desperate letters, begging for help.
Protesters poured into the streets.
A federal judge's order forced the government to reunite the separated families who were still in government custody in June 2018. That led to more than 2,100 children being reunited with their parents.
Advocates say the government should help with something even more important: bringing deported parents back to the United States and giving them the chance to stay.
Alejandro, 13, said he misses his family in Guatemala, but life is far too dangerous back home. But "everything in life costs something. Nothing is easy. And whatever is easy isn't worth it."

Alejandro, 13, said he misses his family in Guatemala, but life is far too dangerous back home. But "everything in life costs something. Nothing is easy. And whatever is easy isn't worth it."
We don't know...
• ... where the parents of 611 children are.
• ... if they know what happened to their children.
• ... whether these families will ever be reunited.
... what a new government task force will do about it.

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