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Engel Statement on Tonight's Deadline to Reunite Separated Families

Engel Statement on Tonight’s Deadline to Reunite Separated Families

“This type of ineptitude is staggering, even for this President and his team.”

Congressman Eliot L. Engel issued the following statement:

“Tonight marks the second court ordered deadline for the Trump Administration to reunite separated children with their families. Much like the first deadline, this too will pass with the job having not been completed.

“The President’s cruel ‘zero-tolerance’ policy has been a disaster from minute one. Tearing families apart at the border was abhorrent and disgraceful. But what’s just as disgraceful has been this Administration’s complete inability to answer even the most basic questions we have posed regarding how and when family reunification is supposed to take place. Despite repeated requests from Democrats, we have gotten few, if any, answers from Administration officials. What we do know is that they failed to meet the first court ordered date to reunite families. And now we’re told up to 900 children will remain in federal custody tonight as the second deadline comes and goes, many because their parents have already been deported. This type of ineptitude is staggering, even from this President and his team.  

“We need to act, with or without this Administration’s assistance. As the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I authored the Central America Family Protection and Reunification Act which requires the State Department – through our embassies in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — to prioritize supporting governments and citizens of these countries to facilitate immediate family reunification. I have also pressed Secretary Pompeo to take some of the actions laid out in our legislation on his own, which he has the power to do and should do immediately. We’re done waiting.”