On March 1, 2021, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the principles of the Family Reunification Task Force, and appointed the task force’s Executive Director, Michelle Brané. Director Brané previously served as the Senior Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission.
The Task Force’s leading purpose will be the relentless pursuit of reuniting families. Some of the other noteworthy principles include:
- Providing families with the option of being reunified either in the U.S. or their country of origin, as possible by law.
- Partnerships with non-governmental organizations and the private sector for additional support services and recommendations.
- A broader definition of support to reunified families which could include transportation, healthcare, legal services, and career and educational services.
- Expenses of reunification covered by government, NGOs, and the private sector, rather than families, to the extent possible.
- A broader definition of reunification efforts with additional family members, such as siblings, being considered for reunification.
The Task Force will also identify opportunities for families to pursue legal immigration status, which Knudson & Associates will be closely following.
We are excited to see these efforts being made to stop the issue of family separation and will continue to monitor these changes.