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Politics & Government

Nearly all separated migrant children sent to Michigan have been reunited with families

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office in Grand Rapids
Bryce Huffman
/
Michigan Radio
Michigan only has nine children remaining in the state that have not yet been reunified with families.

The U.S. government is scrambling to meet Thursday's court-ordered deadline to reunite hundreds of children who were separated at the border with their parents.

About half of those families have been reunited.

But the government admits hundreds of families separated under President Trump's zero-tolerance policy will not be reunited anytime soon.

In Michigan, it looks a little different. About 50 immigrant children taken from their parents were brought to Michigan, and around 90 percent of those children have been reunited with their families. 

Susan Reed, supervising attorney for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center which legally represents the immigrant children, joined Stateside to give us an update on these children and their families.

Children brought to Michigan spent their time in the state in the care of Grand Rapids-based Bethany Christian Services.

Dona Abbott, Bethany's director of refugee and immigrant programs, says the parents of all children in their care have been located and contacted. Abbott says three percent of parents wanted their child to stay in Bethany's care or be placed with another relative in the U.S. because they felt it was too unsafe for the child to return to their home country.

Bethany is working with the parents of the remaining seven percent of children who have not yet been reunited to form a plan to do so. 

Listen above to hear how Michigan compares to other states in its efforts to reunite the families, why some children in Michigan and around the country still remain separated from families, and why some families are asking not to be reunified.

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