Rep. Lloyd Doggett speaking at the Families Belong Together rally in San Antonio's Main Plaza.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett has made an official inquiry to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement asking it to explain what appears to be a policy prolonging separation of asylum-seeking immigrants.
Such a policy would seem to defy the order of a federal judge which said children separated from their parents under President Donald Trump's "zero-tolerance" policy must be reunited by the end of this month.
Doggett, San Antonio-Austin Democrat, fired off the letter after hearing reports of asylum-seeking mothers detained near Austin who were
denied release even after proving at a preliminary hearing that they have a “credible fear” of returning to their home countries. While detained, they cannot be reunited with their children, Doggett's office said.
"As with many issues, Trump prefers chaos and confusion," Doggett said in a written statement. "The Administration appears to have begun refusing to release mothers even after they have established a well-justified asylum claim. By continuing their detention, Trump ensures that they still cannot be reunited with their wrongfully separated children."
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar today upped his estimate
of how many children have been separated by the "zero-tolerance policy." He said nearly 3,000 kids may have been separated from their parents rather than the 2,000 it said it had in its care nine days ago.
You can read Doggett's letter here
, along with excerpts of letters written by detainees.
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