The U.S. government has proposed a settlement to provide temporary legal status and other benefits to migrant families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border during the Trump administration. The settlement, which is subject to approval by a U.S. district court judge, would apply to approximately 3,900 children who were separated from their parents between 2017 and 2021. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represents the separated families, estimates that an additional 500 to 1,000 children could be covered by the settlement.
The proposal is part of President Joe Biden’s ongoing efforts to reunite families separated under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, which mandated the prosecution of all unauthorized border crossers. The settlement would allow families affected by this policy to apply for temporary legal status for three years, a work permit, and the option to make an asylum claim. It would also prohibit the government from implementing any policy leading to widespread separations for eight years, with exceptions for national security, criminal warrants, medical emergencies, or child safety.
The settlement also includes provisions for temporary housing support for one year and access to behavioral health services and some medical assistance. This comes after reports of housing insecurity among many reunited families. The Biden administration had previously ended settlement talks that would have provided monetary compensation to separated families. To date, a task force directed by the Biden administration has reunited over 750 children with their families.
Read more at Reuters.