Originally Published in The Hill
Rafael Bernal - May 10, 2021
A political advocacy group created to support President Biden in March on Monday launched a new video designed to tout the administration's policy of reuniting families separated by immigration enforcement.
The group, Building Back Together (BBT), whose mission is to trumpet Biden's successes, launched a campaign in April to attract Latino voters in key states — the new video is BBT's first rapid-reaction effort on a specific policy.
"After years of fear and terror, we finally have a president who recognizes the humanity of every family. There's more work to do, but the president is already keeping his promise to advance a fair, humane and compassionate immigration system," said BBT chief strategy officer Mayra Macías.
The video follows the high-profile rollout of an administration policy to reunite immigrant families separated under Trump, and a pledge by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to find a legal pathway to permanent status for members of those families.
"Think it's tough to trust our leaders nowadays?" asks a narrator to kick off the video. "Well, trust this. What candidate Joe Biden says, President Joe Biden does."
Mayorkas announced last Monday that the administration would begin allowing parents who were separated from their children to come to the United States to rejoin their families or choose to reunite in their home countries.
Some 2,800 families were separated forcibly by the Trump administration in 2018, in an attempt to deter family units from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The short-lived "zero tolerance" policy turned out to be a political weak spot for Trump, which Democrats — including Biden — consistently campaigned on, even long after Trump had been forced to reverse course.
When Biden took office, some 550 children had not been reconnected with their families, in part because records and contact information were not gathered on many during the implementation of the family separation policy.
Mayorkas said last week the Biden administration had thus far reunited 105 families and was seeking to act "as restoratively as possible" when it comes to reunification.
"This week, fathers will return home, children will have their mothers again and spaces left by those we love who were separated from us unjustly will slowly be made whole again," says the voiceover in the BBT video, over a montage of footage of families reuniting provided by advocacy organizations.
"We're telling the story of this policy through its impact on real families, uplifting the new administration's commitment to reversing the immoral policies of the last administration and prioritizing immigration reform early on — a critical part of building back better," said Macías.