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February 2, 2021


Spencer Tilger | | (646) 893-0691


Justice in Motion Responds to Formation

of Family Separation Task Force

BROOKLYN, NY — Today, President Biden signed an Executive Order forming an interagency task force to identify children who suffered a separation from their parents during the Trump administration and facilitate reunions with their families. The text gives the task force broad authority, but does not include specific commitments to allow deported parents to return and reunify with their children in the U.S. and stay here permanently with access to social services and other forms of restitution. A White House official confirmed to NBC news that the Executive Order excludes families whose children already returned to their country of origin from accessing relief or support through the task force.

For more than two years, Justice in Motion has successfully conducted in-person searches for parents who were separated from their children and forced to return to Central America or Mexico without them. In response to the Executive Order, Justice in Motion Founder and Executive Director Cathleen Caron, said: 

“The creation of this task force signals to the world a commitment from the highest level of the U.S. government to reunite still-separated families. However, it does not fully address the harm inflicted on these families and lacks the clarity families need to regain control of their futures. 

“The task force must act quickly to allow parents who were deported to Central America and Mexico to return to the U.S. to reunite with their children, grant them legal status, and provide them with mental health services and other resources. The task force’s mandate must also be expanded to help all affected families, including those whose children returned to their country of origin. They have suffered unimaginable harm, and even after reunification, the trauma and fear remains. Only by allowing all these families to return to the U.S. and granting them legal status can we guarantee their safety and ability to access the resources they need to heal.

“Justice in Motion human rights defenders in Central America and Mexico have already located hundreds of parents, and are working tirelessly to find and support hundreds more. We look forward to working with the task force to ensure all affected families receive the justice they deserve.”




Justice in Motion protects migrant rights by ensuring justice across borders. Our unique network of on-the-ground human rights defenders in Mexico and Central America partner with U.S. advocates to make sure that wherever migrants go, their rights will follow.

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