The Trump administration agreed to allow some of the immigrant families that were separated on the southern border of the United States. UU Have a second chance to apply for asylum in the United States, a change that could affect more than 1,000 people.
The government presented the agreement late Wednesday after reaching an agreement with immigrant rights groups that have been representing the interests of separated families in federal court. Three federal judges must still approve the agreement before it can go into effect.
More than 2,600 children were separated from their parents during an immigration policy that ended on June 20 when Trump signed an executive order to end the practice.
Isidra Calderón embraces her son Jonathan Avila in August in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Jonathan had just arrived from the US detention. UU After mother and son separated on the US border UU
The new agreement addresses three separate lawsuits filed against the government over the now defunct Trump administration's practice of dividing families. The judges in all three cases will have a voice in if the agreement is approved.
The agreement provides a second opportunity for parents to participate in a screening interview to determine if they face "credible fear" if they return to their home countries.
The interview is the first step for people seeking asylum. If the father or son is successful during the interview, families can request asylum as a group.
One of the ongoing legal challenges argues that many parents failed in their initial review of credible fear because they had anxiety, could not sleep, could not think of anything other than their children, said Sirine Shebaya, a senior Muslim lawyer. Defenders, which represents the immigrants in that demand.
"The parents were too traumatized by the separation of their children when they were going through these credible fear interviews," Shebaya told DailyMail.com. "When they were interviewed, many did not even know where their children were."
The government also agreed to consider the reopening of cases in which the parents have already been deported to their country of origin on a case-by-case basis.
More than 1,000 people may be eligible to reapply for asylum, according to Muslim Advocates, which represents immigrants in one of the lawsuits against the government.
The agreement is a "significant victory," Shebaya said.
"All the parents of these lawsuits came to the United States fleeing the indescribable violence and seeking refuge for themselves and their children," he said. "With this agreement, they will finally have a real opportunity to be heard and to guarantee security and stability for themselves and their families."
Any immigrant who does not accept the agreement would be "quickly moved to their country of origin", according to the agreement
Honduran father Juan and his six-year-old son Anthony worship during Sunday Mass on September 9, 2018 in Oakland, California. Father and son were separated on the southern border of the USA. UU Under the immigration policy of the Trump administration and detained for 85 days before meeting
Between April and June, the Trump administration separated more than 2,600 children from their parents after the families entered the country, legally and illegally, across the southern border of the United States. UU As part of an "zero tolerance" immigration policy.
The actions provoked massive public outrage, which led Trump to complete it through an executive order on June 20.
US attorney Jeff Sessions has blamed the separation of children and families from parents fleeing violence in Latin America for violating United States immigration laws.
Efforts to reunify families have been carried out under the supervision of United States District Judge Dana Sabraw, who ordered that it was the government's responsibility to make these families comprehensive.
More than 400 children have not yet met with their parents, many of whom have already been deported from the US. UU