Trump creates new task force. Border Patrol reports all separated families have been unified.

A new task force to reunite migrant families separated by the border immigration policy has reportedly been created by the  Department of Health and Human Services.

An internal document outlines an “unaccompanied children reunification task force” established by the assistant secretary for preparedness and response, according to Politico which reported that this indicates “that the challenge of reunifying thousands of families is likely beyond the capabilities of the refugee office.”

The news outlet allegedly obtained the document detailing the creation of the new HHS task force.

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services has directed the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response assist the ACF Office of Refugee Resettlement with Unaccompanied Children Reunification,” the order read. It also  activated the agency’s Emergency Management Group.

The Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April, has drawn widespread criticism for its effect on migrant children who have to be separated from their parents when the families choose to break the law by entering the U.S. illegally.

Presidennt Trump issued an executive order on Wednesday to stop the separations moving forward, though it is not clear yet what will happen to the more than 2,000 families that have already been separated.

“Secretary [Alex] Azar is bringing to bear all the relevant resources of the department in order to assist in the reunification or placement of unaccompanied alien children and teenagers with a parent or appropriate sponsor,” HHS spokesperson Evelyn Stauffer told Politico on Friday.

Typically called into play for emergencies such as hurricanes and viral epidemics, deploying the emergency response team seems to indicate that HHS views the issue as important as a public health disaster.

Trump administration officials were aiming to reunite children in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol with their families by this weekend, according to CBS News.

As of Friday evening, CBP reportedly did not have any “unaccompanied children in their custody who were separated from adults.”

Frieda Powers


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