“I’m scared all the time, even in my sleep.” I will never forget the teary-eyed 8-year-old who told me that — one of the bravest young people I’ve ever met. I met him just five months after the Trump administration took office and began an onslaught of harsh immigration actions, including prioritizing the deportation of all undocumented immigrants. That included this 8-year-old citizen’s parents, and he was terrified of losing them. Despite the change in administration, our country still has too many children living with the same fear. With Congress failing again to create a pathway to citizenship, Over 5 Million U.S. children continue to face instability due to their parents’ precarious immigration status.
Lawyers tasked with identifying and reuniting families separated in 2017 and 2018 under the Trump administration’s so-called “zero tolerance” border policy say they still haven’t been able to locate the parents of at least 545 migrant children, according to a Tuesday court filing from the American Civil Liberties Union. A majority of these parents — “approximately two-thirds,” the filing said — are believed to have been deported to Central America without their children, some of whom were “just babies” at the time of the separation, ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt told CNN this week.