Detained migrants who have been split up from their children are reportedly being told they will be able to get their kids back if they agree to be deported. The Texas Tribune cites a 24-year-old Honduran man who is being detained in Texas and claims to have abandoned his asylum case out of “desperation” to see his six-year-old daughter. Two immigration attorneys also confirmed that they had heard about similar offers to other detained migrants.
Amid chaos at the border and confusion about the future of family separation, the White House claims that it knows where all the children separated from their parents are currently located. In a fact sheet released Saturday night, the Department of Homeland Security says parents can request whether they want their children to be deported with them. In the past many have chosen to be deported without their children.
Even with a process supposedly in place, the Department of Homeland Security statement doesn’t detail how long it will take to reunite the 2,053 children currently in the government’s custody with their families. A total of 522 children have reportedly been reunited with their families already. For now, the Port Isabel detention center in Texas has been set up as “the primary family reunification and removal center,” the statement said. For many, reunification likely won’t be simple to coordinate considering dozens were “being funneled from Texas shelters to foster homes across the country, including in South Carolina and Michigan,” according to the Houston Chronicle. It is also unclear how reunification would happen for migrants claiming asylum protections.