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Parents of 391 Migrant Children Still Haven’t Been Found

Plus: California could allow immigrant parents onto children's health plans, immigrant children depressed in custody, and more.

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

A court filing from the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union revealed Wednesday that attorneys are still trying to find the parents of 391 migrant children separated at the southern border under the Trump administration. That number is down from 445 last month. This filing is part of the continuous effort to identify and bring together families separated by the “zero tolerance” policy. Government data shows the policy separated about 2,800 children from their parents in 2018, and an additional 1,000 children were separated before the policy was put in place. CNN 

California Bill Would Put Undocumented Immigrant Parents Under Children’s Health Plans

Esperanza Chavez had to get a $15,000 eye surgery on one eye because she couldn’t afford both. Chavez doesn’t qualify for Medicaid because of her immigration status and can’t find a private health insurance plan she can ford. Her daughter, Laura Chavez, said her mother always making health decisions based on the cost rather than necessity. California Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) is pushing a bill that would help the Chavezes and other undocumented immigrants whose children are citizens, forcing private health plans managed by the state to extend coverage to subscribers’ dependent parents. The Guam Daily Post

Attorneys Say Migrant Children Grow Depressed in Government Custody

Children in two temporary U.S. government shelters in Texas are telling attorneys they’re facing insufficient living conditions with limited access to showers, dirty clothes and undercooked food. Attorney Leecia Welch cited interviews with over 30 children who said while they were in U.S. emergency facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services, they felt sad and desperate. Welch said a few migrant children reported having suicidal thoughts and would talk about self-harm with others. Welch mentioned that the minors she spoke with are just waiting to be reunited with their families. CBS News 

Florida AG Appeals After Judge Lets Biden Immigration Guidelines Stand

Florida’s Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody launched an appeal Wednesday after a federal judge refused to block the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement rule changes. U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell dismissed Florida’s request for a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit Moody filed back in March. Moody’s suit took aim at Jan. 20 and Feb. 18 memos from the Department of Homeland Security that told ICE to prioritize immigration enforcement against national security threats. Moody argued the directives disregard federal immigration laws, but Honeywell said because they are just temporary guidelines, they aren’t legally enforceable. WFSU Public Media

Asylum Seekers Deported for Missing Hearings, No Matter the Reason

Veronica, an asylum seeker from El Salvador, had to decide between either missing the chance to win asylum for her family in the U.S. or possibly getting killed by a cartel at the border. She decided to skip the hearing, and tried to call the court to explain why she didn’t show up. But a judge still ordered her and her family to be deported in February 2020. About 28,000 immigrants have been ordered deported even if they weren’t at their case hearings. Some immigrants missed their hearings because traveling was too dangerous, others were kidnapped, and still others were denied entry because they were pregnant or too sick. No matter what the reason may be, judges still hear cases and order deportations in absentia. BuzzFeed News

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