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Government Officials Report That Reuniting Separated Families Will Take Two Years

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It has been almost a year since a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to end their “zero-tolerance” policy. The administration was instructed to reunite all families within a month, yeat hundreds of families remain separated. We know that some forms of separation between child and parent are still happening at the border and we are now learning that the government needs more time to reunite families cruelly separated.

The government says they didn’t keep track of the thousands of families that were separated before their “zero-tolerance” policy began in early 2018.

According to The New York Times, officials have to sort through an estimated 47,000 children “who were referred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement and subsequently discharged.”

However, the main issue is that because so many undocumented children have gone through the system, the kids before Trump’s policy and after are all mixed up. It is hard to tell whether they’re in foster care or shelters as they await reunification. Officials have to go through each case and see which children were part of the 2018 separated families policy, and make them first priority.

Lee Gelernt, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told The NYTimes that if the government really wanted to, they could reunite these families faster than they’re claiming.

“If the government believed finding these children was a priority, they could do it quicker than two years,” Gelernt told The NYTimes.

Gelernt went on to say that “the administration refuses to treat the family separation crisis it created with urgency. We strongly oppose any plan that gives the government up to two years to find kids. The government swiftly gathered resources to tear families apart. It must do the same to fix the damage.”

Earlier this year, various law firms teamed up to sue the Trump Administration on behalf of 10,000 detained children.

“When a government agency takes custody of a child, it should always be looking out for the child’s best interests. But the Trump Administration has instead seen children as a way to go after their parents or relatives,” Jorge Baron, Executive Director for theNorthwest Immigrant Rights Project, said in a press release. “We hope this court case will lead to families being reunified as soon as possible.”

READ: The Trump Administration Is Quietly Trying To Undo The Flores Agreement To Indefinitely Detain Children

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Motel 6 Was Giving Guests Lists To ICE, Now They Are Paying $20 Million To The Victims

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Motel 6 Was Giving Guests Lists To ICE, Now They Are Paying $20 Million To The Victims

A year and a half ago, people were appalled to know that the guests staying at Motel 6 in Arizona had their information compromised. It wasn’t hackers looking to score credit card information, but immigration officials aiming to track down undocumented immigrants.

When people realized that employees of Motel 6 gave away private information about hotel guests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a boycott ensued. Furthermore — because that tactic is extremely illegal — immigration advocates sued on behalf of thousands of people.

A year later Motel 6 faced two class action lawsuits, one in Washington and another in Arizona. Both cases have closed in huge settlements.

Motel 6 settled their cases out of court and agreed to pay $20 million to all guests with “Latin-sounding names.”


The guests in Arizona got a whopping $7 million settlement, while in Washington, Motel 6 guests there will get $12 million. Guests with Latino-sounding names faced undue stress from having to answer ICE agents knocking on their room doors unexpectedly. However, there is one problem facing attorneys and those in the class action lawsuits.

Attorneys don’t know how to find the guests impacted by the lawsuits.

Some people stayed at Motel 6 under fake names, others perhaps are not in the country anymore, so lawyers have one year to find patrons of the motel or else all of that money goes to waste.

Each guest — roughly 80,000 people — have to either come forward to get their money or else they will just lose it. However, it’s only natural that people are afraid to come forward because of their immigration status.

“The concern here is that this could be a victory in name only,” Geoffrey Hoffman, director of the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic told Bloomberg News. “It does create a situation here where the party is penalized, but how will it amount to restitution to compensate these victims if their clients have been deported, and any records of deportation are held by ICE?”

READ: Motel 6 Is Being Sued By Two States For Violating Privacy Acts By Giving Guests Lists To ICE