'Incredibly Chaotic': Trump Administration Scrambles to Reunite Migrant Families as Deadline Looms - NBC 7 San Diego
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'Incredibly Chaotic': Trump Administration Scrambles to Reunite Migrant Families as Deadline Looms

"We want to make sure people understand what their obligations are," one advocate said

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    'Incredibly Chaotic': Trump Administration Scrambles to Reunite Migrant Families as Deadline Looms
    Joe Raedle/Getty Images
    A woman identified as Maria sits in an Annunciation House facility in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, July 21, 2018, waiting to be reunited with her child.

    As migrant parents and children separated at the border by the Trump administration are reunited, lawyers and advocates say there is a whirlwind of confusion, NBC News reported.

    Reunifications are taking place in detention center parking lots, attorneys say, and migrants are being whisked to other detention centers or shelters late at night, often without their lawyers' knowledge. Some parents aren't being fully informed of their rights, according to the attorneys.

    "These moments of reunification and release are incredibly chaotic, often happening in the middle of the night, and we want to make sure people understand what their obligations are," said Royce Murray, policy director of the nonprofit American Immigration Council.

    The Department of Homeland Security, which faces a Thursday deadline to reunify families, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the reunification process and what migrant families are being told.

    Families Pulled Apart by Executive Order for Deportations

    [NATL] Mixed Status Families Pulled Apart by Trump Executive Order for Deportation

    Undocumented immigrants like Letty Stegall often were allowed to stay in the latter part of Obama's presidency if they had regular check-ins with ICE, paid processing fees, were fingerprinted and stayed out of trouble. An executive order issued by Trump changed that, effectively declaring any immigrant without legal status subject to arrest. 

    (Published Monday, July 23, 2018)