Honduras asks US for answers on children separated from families | News | DW | 14.07.2018
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Honduras asks US for answers on children separated from families

Honduras has demanded information about families who were split when parents were arrested entering the United States. Although a policy of dividing children from parents was ended, many parents remain in detention.

The Honduran government demanded information from US authorities over 459 children who remain separated from their families as part of President Donald Trump's "Zero Tolerance" crackdown on immigration at the border.

Officials from the Central American state said the number of parents arrested and separated from their children totaled 289.

The country's foreign minister, Maria Dolores Aguero, made her request for "clear and precise information that allows us to understand the situation of our nationals in your country" in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen.

Aguero asked, with a "sense of urgency," for an official US list of nuclear families who had been split, along with locations of where children and parents were being kept.

In her letter, the minister also expressed appreciation for the government's decision to suspend the separation policy.

The US government faced strong international criticism for forcibly separating thousands of families, mostly from Central America and seeking asylum because of violence in their home countries.

The reaction to the policy caused Trump to suspend the separations, ordered in an effort to deter migration across the Mexican border. The president faced criticism over the policy from his own lawmakers, as well as from his own wife, Melania.

Efforts to meet deadline

The Trump administration has embarked on a process of reunification of older children with their families. Some 2,500 children are to be united with their parents "on a rolling basis," up to a July 26 deadline imposed by courts. Authorities say they are using a truncated procedure that raises some child safety concerns, but that these are necessary to comply with court orders.

The American Civil Liberties Union said on Friday that the US government had failed to meet a Tuesday deadline to reunify dozens of under-fives with their parents. The US government admitted it had been late in complying with the deadline, but that it had eventually reunited all eligible families.

Read more: Trump's migrant family separations reversal too little, too late

A federal judge on Friday commended officials on their effort to reunite younger children with families so far, saying the government had shown good faith and largely complied with the deadline.

rc/jlw (AFP, EFE)

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