As promised, the Biden administration got to work “on day 1” and signed 17 executive actions that will help families and children. One of the many executive orders President Joe Biden signed was ending the no-tolerance immigration policies that Trump instated. During the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed U.S. attorneys to take immigrant parents from their children, regardless of their age. As Biden works to reunite those children separated from their parents, first lady Dr. Jill Biden will play a role in it.
Per CNN, the president has tasked Dr. Biden with his reunification project. The task force has yet to be announced, but Biden’s spokesman Michael LaRosa confirmed the first lady’s plans to CNN. “As the first lady remarked on a ‘Charla’ with young Latinos earlier this week, her chief of staff, Ambassador Julissa Reynoso, will monitor the federal reunification effort, given her background as a lawyer.”
In perhaps one of the most horrifying moments of the Trump presidency, it was revealed that the U.S. government was unable to find the parents of hundreds of children since they were separated by immigration officials in 2017. While many were outraged, then-first lady Melania Trump took a trip to visit the border in Texas in June 2018. That’s when she wore a controversial piece of clothing that only exacerbated people’s reaction to the news. As Melania boarded her plane from Andrews Air Force Base the words on her olive green jacket were visible and read, “I really don’t care. Do U?”
While the initial purpose of her visit was to appease the public, it was hard for many to interpret Melania’s clothing choice as anything less than telling of the Trump family’s attitude towards the separated families, or at the very least, telling of how she felt. Several months later Melania called the situation at the border “heartbreaking,” but the damage had already been done.
It’s clear that President Biden’s work is just getting started, but we’re looking forward to seeing the Dr. Jill Biden’s efforts at the border and hoping we see more change than we have in the past when it comes to ending the cruel cycle of separating families at the border.
If you want to help more of these parents and children reunite, consider donating to Justice in Motion or the ACLU.
Read these children’s books, in which girls of color take the lead.
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