Twenty-nine parents from across Central America who were separated from their children by U.S. immigration agents last year returned to the U.S. border on Saturday, demanding asylum hearings that might allow them to reunite with their children.
The group of parents quietly traveled north over the last month, assisted by a team of immigration attorneys who hatched a high-stakes plan to reunite families divided by the Trump administration’s family separation policy last year. The 29 parents were among those deported without their children, who remain in the United States in shelters, in foster homes or with relatives.
Although the Trump administration’s family separation policy has prompted a round of congressional hearings, lawsuits and national protests, the parents have for nearly a year suffered out of the spotlight from their homes in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. They celebrated birthdays and Christmas on video calls, trying to discern if their children were safe.
Now, they will pose a significant test to America’s embattled asylum system, arguing that they deserve another chance at refuge in the United States, something rarely offered to deportees. Before the Trump administration, families had never been systematically separated at the border. And before Saturday, those families had never returned to the border en masse.
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