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Parents of 445 Migrant Children Still Haven’t Been Found

About 2,800 children were separated from their parents under the Trump administration's “zero tolerance” policy.

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

According to a Wednesday court filing, the parents of 445 migrant children who were separated between 2017 and 2018 by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy at the U.S.-Mexico border still have not been found. The recent filing is from the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union is part of an ongoing attempt to identify and reunite families separated at the border. It was revealed through the filing that parents of 61 out of 506 children were located since February. About 2,800 children were separated from their parents under the “zero tolerance” policy. Officials later discovered at least 1,712 additional children were separated before former President Donald Trump left office. CNN  

In other national immigration news…

Florida Undocumented Immigrants Denied COVID-19 Vaccine 

Doris Meija, an undocumented Salvadoran migrant, was refused the COVID-19 vaccine for the fifth time because she didn’t give a Florida ID. The Homestead resident is a single mother of four who works as a farmer and housekeeper. She has heart issues, which make her at high risk of contracting the virus. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has refused to soften vaccine eligibility requirements for the undocumented, requiring recipients bring government IDs or official mail to prove their residence. “What we feel is that they don’t want immigrants vaccinated,” Meija said. “They see us as less, yet we work the most.” Miami Herald 

Additional Files May Reveal 5,600 More Family Separations Under Trump

President Joe Biden’s family separation task force has classified 5,600 “yet-to-be-reviewed” files from the beginning half of 2017 that could possibly indicate more family separations during Trump’s time in office, a senior Homeland Security official says. “We found the list we had when we came in was not comprehensive and included large timeframes that had not been reviewed,” the official said. The new files came from the Office of Refugee Resettlement between Jan. 2017 and July 2017 — a time period that wasn’t included in the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit against the Trump administration’s family separation. NBC News 

TikTok Trend Concerns Immigration Lawyers 

Norma Sepulveda, an immigration attorney in the Rio Grande Valley, has helped families gain visas and green cards for more than 10 years. Sepulveda’s clients started reaching out to her late last year about misleading TikTok advertisements that claimed to show easy ways of achieving legal status in the U.S. The advertisements would play a mariachi song or reggaeton beat while a lawyer danced and flashed work permits, urging the viewer to schedule a legal consultation. These posts would also have the hashtag “#arreglarsinsalir” (“fix without leaving”), indicating that the viewers can get a legal status without going to an embassy or consulate abroad. Sepulveda warned that anything that looks like it guarantees legal status or work permits shouldn’t be trusted. Mother Jones 

Muslim Community in Minnesota Acquires 7,000 COVID-19 Vaccines

The Muslim American Society of Minnesota acquired 7,000 COVID-19 vaccines from the stat as part of a campaign to provide every local Muslim adult with the shot before the holy month of Ramadan begins. “Here’s the bottom line: People are going to be at the mosques,” said Iman Asad Zaman, executive director of the society. “You could have another spike in inflections.” With the holy month approaching, Zaman and his colleagues reached out to the governor’s office to prioritize the vaccine for the Muslim community. The 7,000 doses will help them vaccinate 16 mosques across the state this week. Sahan Journal

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