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Gov. Malloy Offers State Assistance With Reunification of Families

(HARTFORD, CT) – In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar, Governor Dannel P. Malloy today pressed the federal government to move quickly to reunite families separated by President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” detention policies and offered state assistance with reunification efforts.

“While I will not commit state resources to facilitate the separation of immigrant families, I am ready and willing to offer any state assistance I can to help reunify these families,” the Governor wrote. “Given the thousands of children now spread out around the nation under your care, there is a considerable amount of work ahead for your Department to locate and reconnect children with their parents similarly dispersed across the country. Connecticut is eager to assist your efforts to return children to the care of their parents and family.”

Governor Malloy has vocally criticized the Trump administration for their inhumane practice of separating children from their families, equating the policy to government-sanctioned child abuse on numerous occasions and making clear that he would not direct state resources, including the Connecticut National Guard, to assist with these misguided federal efforts. Since the president’s executive order partially reversing the family separation aspect of the “zero-tolerance” policy, the Governor has advocated on numerous occasions for the federal government to act quickly to reunite the 2,300 children removed from the care of their parents.

The Governor offered Secretary Azar the following specific assistance:

  • Help with coordination of the identification of available capacity in licensed, private providers for housing children as they wait to be rejoined with their parents.
  • The services of Connecticut’s statewide refugee coordinator to assist with matters related to unaccompanied minors, including those directly affected by the “zero-tolerance” policy.

The Governor also offered the Secretary constructive recommendations to expedite the reunification process, including a request that HHS inform the state’s child welfare agency when unaccompanied minors are placed in facilities within that state – a practice that has not been commonplace under the Trump administration.

“The more than 2,000 children affected by President Trump’s 'zero-tolerance' policy should never have been separated from their parents in the first place,” the Governor concluded. “Regardless of how we arrived at this situation, we are each morally obligated to help put these families back together. I hope that you seriously consider our offer and recommendations. We wish to see these families rejoined as quickly as possible and are ready to help with this effort.”

**Download: Governor Malloy's letter to Secretary Azar

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