Elected officials, religious, and community leaders call on the federal government for a plan to reunite children with families.

Samantha Liebman/1010 WINS

New York Leaders Want To Know When Immigrant Children Will Be Reunited With Families

June 23, 2018 - 5:04 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Of the hundreds of families that have been separated at the border in recent weeks, some could soon be back together.

CBS News reported Friday that most of the immigrant children who had been separated from their families and are being held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection would be reunited by the end of the day.

Though, about 2,300 children still in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services were not included in the reunions. Authorities told CBS News that the delay could be the result of relationships that can’t be confirmed or possible risks to the child.

On Saturday, New York State Sen. Brian A. Benjamin hosted a rally in East Harlem in front of a facility used to process immigrant children to demand that the government create a concrete plan that will successfully reunite families separated by the Trump administration.

The rally comes after Mayor Bill de Blasio discovered that 239 children separated from their families had been placed in the Harlem facility. Governor Cuomo has also said that roughly 700 of the separated children were currently living in foster care facilities in New York.

According to the Rev. Al Sharpton there was at least one child as young as 9-months-old housed in the Cayuga Center in East Harlem.

Demonstrators say the Trump administration had no plan to reunite the children with their families, and are demanding that a plan be put in place.

"Well why didn't you have a plan to eventually do it anyway?" Sharpton said.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson did not mince words.

"This president is a cruel, lying, immoral, evil man. All of us will stand up and speak truth to power on behalf of these voiceless children," he said.

Local leaders also said that Spanish speaking foster families are needed, because the families taking in children are being overwhelmed.

Both Cuomo and de Blasio have denied knowing about the children before they arrived in New York and are now canvassing foster care agencies to find out how many minors are here.

Democratic lawmakers including New York City Congresswoman Grace Meng spent the day touring a detention center in McAllen, Texas.

Meng told 1010 WINS that what she saw was disturbing.

"It's horrendous, it's exactly what, my worst fears were confirmed these children are kept in cages. I saw infants as young as a few months old in theses cages sleeping on the ground with a thin tin foil blanket over them," she said.

Meng and others want to know when reunification will happen.