CHICAGO (CBS) — Some of the babies and toddlers who were supposed to be reunited with their parents today are still in Chicago. Only 38 of them across the country will be reunited with their families by today’s deadline.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports on what is stopping the reunions.
Heartland Alliance is housing dozens of children who have been separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” immigration policy.
Representative Bill Foster (D-Illinois) visited one of the facilities run by the agency Monday.
“These are not gang members,” he said. “These are young children who are wondering when they will see their parents; everything from infants in arms to kids who are approaching 18. These kids were quiet, well behaved, supernaturally quiet for reasons you can imagine.”
According to a court order, some of the kids, under five-years-old, must be reunited with their families by a deadline Tuesday.
“When we visited yesterday, in Illinois, there was a handful they were working on to get reunited, subject to the deadline and we were not given an update on how many they had succeeded at,” said Foster, saying in some cases, the problem is that there were many obstacles.
“In some cases, the parents have been deported and understood children would not be coming with them. In other cases, deported parents thought their children would follow them,” Foster explained.
“I think the United States needs to look at itself and ask if the people making the mistakes are the people we want in power,” he said. “It’s not only inhumane, it’s incompetent.”
The courts have given the administration until the end of the month to reunite the rest of the children with their families. Foster says in most cases he thinks it is possible, but fears some children may not see their parents for a long time.