A stunning amount of red tape is keeping detainee families from reuniting

July 13, 2018

Mario knows where his daughter is—they’re both in El Paso, Texas—but he’s not allowed to see her. Before they have the opportunity to permanently come back together as a family once again, the U.S. government’s got a ton of hoops that they want Mario to jump through. The common thread: he needs to prove that he’s his daughter’s father. Last month, Mario and his legal representative were working to get his passport back from the FBI, as it had been taken from him when he was taken into custody at the border. This week, he’s waiting to be fingerprinted. That each step of the process to get his daughter back is being handled by a different government organization only serves to slow things down. Similar stories are playing out with other families as well. Claudia Muñoz, is the immigration programs director for Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based group that opposes for-profit immigrant detention centers. From what she told the Texas Tribune’s Julián Aguilar, the level of red tape that detainees are having to cut through in order to get back their kids is at a level where one has to start to wonder whether the government actually wants families to be reunited. Hmmmm…