Trump's 100-year-old policies have led to the reunion of 100 children who were taken from their parents by the US

WASHINGTON (AP), -- As it approaches the end of its first calendar year, the Biden administration's effort to reunite parents and children who were separated by President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on border security has seen increasing success.

Trump's 100-year-old policies have led to the reunion of 100 children who were taken from their parents by the US

The Department of Homeland Security was planning to announce Thursday that 100 children from Central America were returned to their families. Another 350 reunifications are currently in progress after the agency adopted measures to improve the program.

"I would love to see this happen faster. Michelle Brane, executive Director of the Family Reunification Task Force, said that they are making progress but she feels like they're getting momentum.

On his first day of office, President Joe Biden issued an executive directive to reunite families separated by Trump's practice of forcibly segregating families at the U.S.–Mexico border in order to deter illegal immigration.

The task force's work has been complicated by many factors. These include inadequate or missing records of separated families, the sheer volume of cases, and the fact that many parents live in remote Central American communities, making it difficult for them to find their children, or travel to the United States to retrieve them.

The task force had already reunited 50 families by September when the administration announced a partnership with the International Organization for Migration. They also created Juntos.gov and Together.gov web portals for parents to contact the U.S. government to help them through the reunification process.

Trump's administration forcibly removed nearly 5,500 children from their parents, most of them in 2018. This was in 2018 as Trump sought to curb an increase in people crossing U.S.-Mexico borders with criminal prosecutions. Even though the migrants were seeking asylum under law, the authorities were still pursuing criminal prosecutions.

Trump ended the practice amid widespread condemnation, even from Republicans. This was just days after a judge ordered that the program be stopped in June 2018, in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Brane stated in an interview that officials still believe there are approximately 1,150 children missing. As new information is uncovered in some cases, the total fluctuates.

Brane stated, "Obviously, this is not the end." "This is only the beginning of this ramp-up and hopefully families see that reunifications happen and feel confident coming forward."

Children and parents, some of whom arrived at U.S. Airports this week, have been granted humanitarian parole. They can stay in the country for three years, and may apply for permanent status through asylum. They also receive counseling services.

Hundreds of families have also brought lawsuits against the federal government.

Last week, the Justice Department informed lawyers representing families from several groups that it would withdraw from settlement negotiations after eight months of negotiations and would defend each case in court.

After media reports about a settlement that would pay several hundred thousand dollars each person affected by the lawsuit sparked outrage among Biden administration critics in Congress.

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