Families Separated By Immigration Officers May Get A Second Chance At Asylum

The Trump administration has reached a new agreement that would allow some immigrant families to reapply for asylum.

Families Separated By Immigration Officers May Get A Second Chance At Asylum

President Donald Trump's administration has just taken a step towards settling the lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of the many migrant children and parents separated at the United States border earlier this year. According to Reuters, the administration has reached an agreement that would allow some individuals to get another shot at applying for asylum in the country. 

The plan, which was filed on Wednesday and still needs to be approved by a federal judge, will allow the government to take a second look at the cases of some families who were forcibly separated under Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy. Parents and their children would be able to redo their interview with officers to prove credible fear, the first test immigrants must clear in order to win asylum.

As for parents who were already deported, the agreement specifies that the government is willing to reconsider reopening their cases, but does not plan on bringing all deported parents back to the U.S.

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The agreement marks a significant victory for the ACLU, although it remains unclear exactly how many families would be affected.  "The settlement will now finally give parents a meaningful opportunity to seek asylum with their children. As critically, it leaves open the possibility that some parents deported without their children can return to the United States," ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt told NBC News. 

The ACLU first filed the suit on behalf of a mother and her 6-year-old daughter, who were separated in the U.S. after fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo. Theirs is just one of the heartbreaking stories unveiled in the aftermath of the immigration policies that left thousands of children left in detention facilities away from their families. 

The policy has garnered widespread backlash, sparking outcry from citizens, celebrities, politicians, and other rights advocacy organizations like the ACLU. If approved, the settlement could mark some progress in reuniting some of the separated parents with their children. 

As of Thursday, more than 400 migrant children remain in government custody. The family reunification deadline, mandated by a federal judge in late June, passed more than six weeks ago. 

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