Fri, 23 Apr 2021

© Provided by Xinhua

"We are hoping to reunite the families either here or in their country of origin," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Xinhua) -- President Joe Biden's administration will allow migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under former President Donald Trump to reunite inside the United States, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Monday.

"We are hoping to reunite the families either here or in their country of origin. We hope to be in a position to give them the election and if in fact they seek to reunite here in the United States, we will explore lawful pathways for them to remain in the United States and to address the family needs," Mayorkas said in a White House briefing.

"The prior administration dismantled our nation's immigration system in its entirety," Mayorkas said, calling the separation of thousands of migrant families under the Trump administration "the most powerful and heartbreaking example of the cruelty that preceded this administration."

However, Mayorkas said that migrants need to wait and should not come to the United States now, citing travel restrictions due to the pandemic and his department's unfinished work to rebuild its asylum and humanitarian programs.

Asked whether there's a border crisis, Mayorkas said no, calling it instead "a stressful challenge."

Lawyers are still trying to locate the parents of nearly 500 children who had been split from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border by the Trump administration, according to media reports.

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