ALBANY, NY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has requested information from federal agencies on the remaining separated children in New York to help reunite them with their families. New York is providing critical services to families involved in the reunification process. The State is working closely with local advocacy organizations in identifying separated children and assisting in the reunification effort.
“The federal government’s failure to reunify separated families is either gross incompetence or a purposeful gauntlet of pain, but either way it is despicable and illegal. Children have rights, parents have rights, and that is the law,” Governor Cuomo said. “There is an old adage ‘trust but verify’ – with this federal government, we don’t trust and we demand verification. If the federal government cannot uphold its legal responsibility to reunite families, we have a moral obligation to step in. I demand that the federal government provide information on which children are still in New York immediately so we help return them to their families as soon as possible.”
Documents from litigation show that more than 900 children have not been unified with their parents. The federal government has admitted that more than 400 parents are no longer in the country, many of them as a result of deportation without legal counsel and before opportunity for reunification. The State is providing care to children who remain in New York State.
Governor Cuomo signed legislation to increase protections for immigrant children who have been separated from their families as a result of the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy. The legislation provides parents who have been detained in New York, or are facing deportation from the state, an opportunity to appoint someone of their choosing to provide emergency care for their child.