Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the director of the task force to reunite families said on Thursday that the Biden administration is working to reunite entire families who experienced separation under the Trump administration, meaning that not just parents but also siblings of separated children may be able to get permanent legal status in the U.S.
In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Mayorkas said, “We are very much focused on providing stability to the reunited families, and not just for her but for the family as a unit,” referring to a mother who had just been reunited with her son.
Michelle Brané, the executive director of the Biden administration’s task force to reunify the separated families, told NBC News her group is working on a process where “immediate family members can also apply. That includes siblings, another, you know the partner or spouse, other parents if they’re in the picture. So we arranged for that. Once those applications are approved, we will facilitate travel arrangements.”
Mayorkas said he could not guarantee that the families would have permanent legal status, but said, ” “We’re going to do everything we can to make it work out.”
This week, the Biden administration is reuniting four families separated in 2017 and 2018, but the White House estimates more than 1,000 remain separated.