July 02, 2018

Senators Call on DHS, HHS to Provide Anonymized List of All Children, Parents Separated at Border

Press for Details on How Long They've Been Separated and Progress Made in Reuniting Them

Text of letter (PDF) 

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and ten of her Senate colleagues today sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alexander Azar and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kristjen Nielsen requesting an anonymized, de-identified list of all children and parents separated at the border because of the Trump Administration's "Zero-Tolerance" policy.

The Administration claims that the government knows the location of all children in its custody and is working to reunite them. They also claim to have a central database which HHS and DHS can "access and update" that contains information on the location of separated children and parents. But reports suggest that officials do not know how to reunify the families that have been separated as a result of the Administration's 'Zero Tolerance' policy and may be continuing to deport  parents who were separated from their children.

The senators asked for three anonymized, de-identified lists by July 6, 2018:

1) A list of all of children separated as a result of the "Zero-Tolerance" policy and for how long, whether or not the Office of Refugee and Resettlement (ORR) has identified the adults they were separated from, whether ORR has successfully contacted their family members, and whether the child is with ORR, deported, or released to a sponsor.

2) A list of all adults separated from their child as a result of the "Zero-Tolerance" policy and for how long, whether or not ORR has identified the child they were separated from, whether ORR has successfully contacted them to notify them of their child's location, and whether they are detained, deported, or released.

3) A list that connects the adults in list two with the children in list one.

In their letter, the senators also ask for a briefing every week from DHS and HHS officials on progress made to reunite families they separated until all families are reunited.

Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) joined Senator Warren in sending the letter.