LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday his office is working to identify and help the estimated 100 migrant children who are believed to be in the Los Angeles area after being separated from their parents at the Mexican border by immigration authorities.
But he said the federal government is not providing any information about the children and there is no legal means for the city to compel it to do so.
Garcetti said his office believes the children in the city were being placed in group homes and foster care through organizations that are contracted with the federal government, and also that most of the children are believed to be “among the very youngest.”
“They may be so young they cannot tell us who their parents are,” Garcetti said while speaking to reporters at City Hall.
Garcetti said he was concerned the children separated from their families may not be reunited with their parents due to a possible lack of record keeping, and also said there was no clear plan on how or when the children would be returned to their parents.
President Donald J. Trump said Wednesday he was ending the much-criticized policy of separating children and their parents at the Mexican border when the parents are suspected of entering the country illegally.
Trump’s new order requires immigrant families be detained together when they are caught entering the country illegally, although some of the details on how long they would be held were unclear. The order comes after the administration had faced bipartisan pressure to end the separation policy.
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