AURORA, Colo. – More than 40 adult immigrants separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border are currently being held at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Aurora, according to Rep. Mike Coffman.
Coffman visited the facility Tuesday morning and said he was not allowed to talk to any of the 42 detainees. A total of about 800 people are currently being held there, Coffman said.
There had been 50 parents at the facility but eight have since been reunited with their families, Coffman said. Children were being held in a separate facility that’s run by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Thousands of children have been separated from their parents at the border since the Trump administration began enforcing a “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration earlier this year. President Trump has since signed an executive order halting family separations.
“I remain very concerned about the process,” Coffman said. “It’s just very fragmented. There are so many federal agencies involved in this with no one person in charge.”
Coffman said he’s going to submit a formal request asking the White House to appoint a single individual to oversee the reunification process and coordinate between the various federal agencies that are involved.
“The process is so fragmented between different agencies that I could never get a complete answer” to any questions, Coffman said. “They could not tell me when the remaining 42 would be reunited with their families.”
Coffman said he’s “not confident” that the remaining detainees will be reunited with their families within 30 days, as ordered by a judge in California last month.