Biden administration may let families separated at Mexican border reunite in US

Biden administration may let families separated at Mexican border reunite in US

Originally Published in USA Today

Maureen Groppe - March 1, 2021

WASHINGTON – Parents separated from their children at the border under the Trump administration could be allowed to live in the USA after they're reunited, the Biden administration announced Monday.

"We are hoping to reunite the families either here or in the country of origin," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at a White House news briefing.

If the families choose to reunite in the USA, he said, the administration will "explore lawful pathways for them to remain."

Families will be provided assistance, such as health care, transportation, legal aid and career and educational services.

Siblings and other family members will be considered for reunification "where there is a compelling humanitarian interest in doing so," the Department of Homeland Security announced after Mayorkas spoke.

His comments came hours before he was set to participate in a virtual meeting between President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In brief public remarks at the start of the meeting, Biden said the two countries "haven't been perfect neighbors to each other" but are stronger and safer "when we work together."

López Obrador said their relationship should be based on constant dialogue, and "I know our relations in the future will be even better."

Biden has started to unwind several of President Donald Trump's hard-line immigration policies, and he’s promised better relations with Mexico.

In a further break with the past administration,Mayorkas described the border situation as a “challenge” that is being managed, not a crisis.

Biden faces pressure from the left and the right.

Last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., criticized the reopening of a shelter to house unaccompanied teenagers crossing the border from Mexico.


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