Sen. Cruz Wants Answers on Task Force From Homeland Secretary Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
By Peter Malbin | Tuesday, 24 May 2022 01:49 PM
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz sent a letter Monday to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding answers about the Biden Administration's Family Reunification Task Force.
President Joe. Biden ordered the formation of the FRTF when he took office.
Under the Trump administration, some 4,000 children were separated from their parents, according to NPR. More than 2,000 were reunited with their families before President Trump left office. The task force aims to reunite the remaining families.
In the letter, first obtained by the Daily Caller, Sen. Cruz demands answers to a number of questions about how DHS is executing this program, including how FRTF defines “household,” how FRTF vets household members to be reunified in the U.S. and whether FRTF is giving legal status to individuals who previously tried to illegally cross the border.
In his letter, Sen. Cruz asks:
- What is the total number of applications submitted to FRTF for reunification? Please provide the data broken out by country.
- For each application resulting in reunification, please identify the total number of persons in each household brought to the U.S.
- Have any applications resulting in reunification in the U.S. resulted in a case where a household is relocated in a city that is different from the city where the child such household applied to be reunified with is located? If so, please identify the total number of such cases as well as which cities the child and household are located in for each case.
- What criteria does the FRTF use in determining whether to include a particular individual claimed as a household member?
- How does FRTF define the term “household”?
- How does FRTF verify if a person listed on an application as a household member is a member of that household?How does FRTF vet household members to be reunified in the U.S.?
- What factors would disqualify an applicant from reunification in the U.S.? If a household member has a criminal history for prosecution in the U.S. for illegally crossing the border, would that be disqualifying? If not, how many total persons have been reunified in the U.S. who have previously been prosecuted for illegally crossing the border?
- What private and non-governmental organizations are involved in facilitating FRTF’s mission? Please detail the terms of the arrangement, including the total amount of funds that have been allocated to such groups.
In an interview. with NPR in February, Secretary Mayorkas said: "We have accomplished a great deal. When we commenced our task force one year ago, what we encountered was an absence of records of the families who were separated, or incomplete or inaccurate records. And our first challenge was to actually identify the separated families. We have thus far reunified more than 120 families. We are in the process of reunifying more than 400. And we are present in the countries of origin to reach other families and encourage them to come forward."