Immigrants separated from their children while facing prosecution for illegally crossing the U.S. border were told by a federal judge in Texas Monday that he couldn’t promise them anything regarding an eventual reunification with their children.
According to POLITICO, Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker told one woman that the issue was out of his control when she asked, “What’s going to happen to my daughter?”
“Hopefully, they’ll get you to her,” Hacker told the woman, who was communicating through a translator, before sentencing her to time served in detention and paving the way for her likely deportation.
The publication reported that 21 of the 81 immigrants present at the hearing said they had been separated from their children at the border.
A flyer that the Border Patrol distributes to migrants held at its McAllen processing center before they go to court tells parents that the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services “can take steps to facilitate reunification with your child(ren).”
The latest figures released Monday by DHS indicated over 2,300 children were separated from their families from early April through the beginning of June – and that number is expected to climb at a steady rate through the summer.
All but 16 of the defendants before Hacker on Monday were sentenced to time served.
As he handed down that sentence to one portion of the group, a migrant woman exercised her right to inform the court that the gender of her child was improperly listed. She was separated from a daughter, she said, not a son.