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Family Reunification Task Force

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to the safe reunification of families that were unjustly separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Seals of the US Deoartment of Homeland Security, State, Health and Human Services and Justice

On Tuesday February 2, 2021, President Biden ordered the formation of the President’s Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families (Task Force) and placed the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas as the Chair.

In addition to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the President’s Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families includes the Department of State, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice.

The Task Force is identifying and implementing comprehensive strategies that will bring families back together and ensure that the children and parents who were intentionally separated from each other are provided support.

If You are a Separated Parent, Legal Guardian or Child

The Task Force launched a registration website for separated families to self-identify as potentially qualified for the process to facilitate reunification. Please visit www.together.gov or www.juntos.gov to determine if you qualify and submit a registration form.

Registration Steps:

  1. If you believe you qualify for this process, you should submit register by submitting your information at the registration website.
  2. When we receive your information, the Task Force will confirm whether you qualify to apply for humanitarian parole, with Task Force support, through the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM is a trusted partner of the U.S. government that helps ensure humane migration.
  3. If you qualify, an IOM representative will contact you or your legal representative to help you start the process for returning to the United States for reunification. Legal representation is not required for this process. The reunification process will be free for those who qualify.
  4. An IOM representative will help you prepare and submit your application for humanitarian parole and obtain necessary documents, such as passports and exit documents.
  5. An IOM representative will also help you identify additional immediate household members who may be able to apply for humanitarian parole through this process. The Task Force will determine if the additional household members will qualify for reunification with Task Support.

Once we receive your humanitarian parole application, the U.S. government intends to approve or deny it within 30 days. However, some cases may take longer.

Task Force Leadership and Staff

Alejandro Mayorkas

Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security

Antony J. Blinken

Antony J. Blinken

Secretary of State

Xavier Becerra

Xavier Becerra

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Merrick Garland

Merrick Garland

Attorney General

Michelle Brané
Executive Director
Family Reunification Task Force

Dr. Pritesh Gandhi, MD, MPH
Chief Medical Officer
Department of Homeland Security

Jennifer Daskal
Deputy General Counsel
Department of Homeland Security

Marc Rosenblum
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Immigration Statistics
Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans
Department of Homeland Security

Suzy George
Chief of Staff
Department of State

Marta Youth
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Department of State

Katherine Dueholm
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Western Hemisphere
Department of State

Scott Renner
Office of Children’s Issues
Department of State

Cindy Huang
Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement
Department of Health and Human Services

CMDR Jonathan D. White, Ph.D, LCSW-C, CPH
Senior Advisor for UC Operations, Administration for Children and Families
Department of Health and Human Services

Tricia Swartz
Associate Deputy Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement
Department of Health and Human Services

Sparkle Sooknanan
Deputy Associate Attorney General
Department of Justice

Margy O'Herron
Senior Counsel, Office of Deputy Attorney General
Department of Justice

Brian Fletcher
Counsel to the Attorney General
Department of Justice

 

Statement of Principles

The Task Force has defined guiding principles for their work together:

The Family Reunification Task Force (Task Force) will be defined by the relentless pursuit of bringing families back together.
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The Task Force must balance the need for swift action with the need for comprehensive and stable support.
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To the extent permissible under law, separated families should have the option of being reunified either in the United States or their country of origin.
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The Task Force will partner with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector to leverage needed reunification and support services and receive recommendations throughout the reunification process.
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As permitted by law, support to reunified families will be defined very broadly, to include transportation, healthcare (including trauma and mental health services), legal services, and career and educational services.
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To the extent possible, the expenses of reunification and reunification-related support will be borne by government, NGOs, and the private sector – and never by the families.
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Reunification efforts will be defined broadly. Additional family members of the children who were separated, such as siblings, will be considered for reunification where there is a compelling humanitarian interest in doing so.
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As permitted by law, the Task Force will identify opportunities for families to pursue legal immigration status that best ensures their safety and stability.
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The Task Force will maintain clear communication with the public to explain the reunification process, report on progress, and educate on available resources to support reunited families.
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The Task Force will identify and implement long-term reform efforts to ensure that family separations not based on the best interests of the child are not permitted to occur again.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is the Family Reunification Task Force? President Biden ordered the formation of the Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families (the Task Force) to address the human tragedy that occurred when U.S. immigration laws were used to intentionally separate children from their parents or legal guardians (families), including under the Zero Tolerance Policy. The Department of Homeland Security leads the Task Force and is joined by the Department of State, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice.

How is the Family Reunification Task Force helping separated families? The Task Force is identifying and implementing comprehensive strategies that will bring families back together, ensuring that the children and parents who were intentionally separated from each other between Jan. 20, 2017, to Jan. 20, 2021, through the Zero Tolerance Policy are reunited and provided support services to remedy the harm caused by the separation.

I was separated from my family. How do I take part in the reunification process? The Task Force has launched a self-declaration website for families to identify to the government their needs for reunification. Please visit www.together.gov or www.juntos.gov to determine if you qualify and submit a registration form to identify yourself as potentially qualified for reunification.

What are the steps for reunification?

  1. If you believe you qualify for this reunification process, you should submit register by submitting your information at the Task Force website.
  2. When we receive your information, the Task Force will confirm whether you qualify to apply for humanitarian parole, with Task Force support, through the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM is a trusted partner of the U.S. government that helps ensure humane migration.
  3. If you qualify, an IOM representative will contact you or your legal representative to help you start the process for returning to the United States for reunification. Legal representation is not required for reunification. The reunification process will be free for those who qualify.
  4. An IOM representative will help you prepare and submit your application for humanitarian parole and obtain necessary documents, such as passports and exit documents.
  5. An IOM representative will also help you identify additional immediate household members who may be able to apply for humanitarian parole through this process. The Task Force will determine if the additional household members will qualify for this process.
  6. Once we receive your application, the U.S. government intends to approve or deny it within 30 days, however some cases may take longer.

Who is IOM and how will they help me? The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a trusted partner of the U.S. government who helps ensure humane migration. IOM will assist you, at no cost to you, in gathering necessary documents, submitting your application for humanitarian parole, and with travel to the United States.

Do I have to pay any money to register? No. There is no fee required to register on this site or for any portion of this process, including filing a humanitarian parole application or obtaining necessary documents. Neither the Task Force nor IOM will ever request money from families through phone calls or letters in the mail. Neither the Task Force nor IOM will ever ask you to transfer money to an individual or ask you to pay fees to a person on the phone or by email.

What happens if I am found to qualify for reunification?

  1. If you are found to qualify for reunification, you will receive support from IOM. They will help you file your application for humanitarian parole.
  2. If you are approved for humanitarian parole, you will be authorized to live in the United States for three years.
  3. Upon entry to the United States, you will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
  4. Upon entry to the United States, you will be given information by IOM on how to request services to help reduce your stress and obtain emotional support as you reunite with your family.

Can I bring my family members with me to the United States? If you qualify for this reunification process, certain qualifying additional members of the immediate household may also be eligible to come to the United States with you. The Task Force will determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis. An IOM representative will also assist you in filing a humanitarian parole application for additional household members who are determined to qualify by the Task Force.

What services will I qualify for once in the United States? As part of this reunification process, you will be eligible for certain free services to help reduce your stress and provide emotional support as you reunite with your family. Some services you may be eligible for include: parenting support around reunification, access to a 24-hour emotional support hotline, mental health support services with case managers, and therapy services with counselors, therapists, and/or doctors for you and your family.

You will receive information on how to access those services. For more information about mental health support services, please refer to these one pagers.

How will the Task Force contact me? During the registration process, you will be asked to provide contact information, such as a phone number or email address, that the Task Force can use to contact you. You may also provide the contact information for someone else that the Task Force may contact on your behalf. The Task Force and the International Organization for Migration will contact you through the phone number or email address you provide. If you enter your attorney’s information in the registration process, the Task Force and IOM will contact your attorney. If you need to update your contact information at any time, you can submit a request on this website.

I filled out a registration but haven’t heard back. What do I do? The Task Force intends to review all registrations as quickly as possible, however, there may be unanticipated delays. The Task Force will provide periodic status updates to the contact information you provided, including by text message or email. You may contact the Task Force for a status update by submitting a request here.

I have additional questions or need help with my registration. Who can I contact? For additional questions or for help with your registration, please contact the Task Force by submitting a request here. Provide as much information about your request and your best contact information, such as a phone number or email address, and the Task Force will contact you as quickly as possible.

Do I need an attorney? No. An attorney is not required for this reunification process. If you do have an attorney, you should be prepared to provide their contact information (for example, phone number or email address) during the registration process.

Are there any resources for attorneys? Attorneys can visit this webpage for additional information.

Can the Task Force connect me with an attorney? No. The Task Force cannot connect you with an attorney. However, you are welcome to hire one at your own expense.

Will information that is provided to the Task Force through together.gov be shared with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)? Information submitted through together.gov will be used to confirm qualification eligibility for reunification with Task Force support. Individuals who register on www.together.gov will not be referred to ICE for removal from the United States based solely on information provided to the Task Force through www.together.gov. The information may be shared with national security and law enforcement agencies, including ICE and Customs and Border Protection, for purposes other than removal, such as to identify or prevent fraudulent claims, for national security purposes, or to investigate or prosecute a criminal offense.

How can I protect myself from immigration scams? The Task Force is issuing a public warning to families seeking reunification services on ways to avoid becoming a victim of an immigration scam. The following guidance below will help you avoid immigration scams and protect your family from bad actors.

Avoid Scams

How can I tell if an email that I received is from a government official? Emails from the U.S. government always end in the domain “.gov”. If the sender claims to be a government official, please always check to ensure any emails you may have received are from an official representative of the U.S. government. No email from the government will ever request money from you.

Will the Task Force call me and ask me to pay money to see my child? The Family Reunification Task Force will never make unsolicited phone calls, send letters through the mail, or emails to request money from families. Neither U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), IOM, nor any other U.S. Government entity will ever ask you to transfer money to an individual. In addition, we will never ask you to pay fees to a person on the phone or by email.

What should I do if I have received calls or letters asking me for money? If you or a family member are aware of receiving a communication that appears to be a scam, please report it by emailing USCIS.Webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov.

Is there a fee I can pay to expedite my process? Does the government contract with third party affiliates to help me expedite my process? Sometimes businesses and websites pretend to be immigration experts or say they have special connections to the government. They might also “guarantee” that you can get to the United States faster if you pay a fee. Family reunification services are free and paying a fee of any kind to anyone will not expedite your case. Do not pay money to anyone offering these services. If you become aware of anyone offering such services, please report it by emailing USCIS.Webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov.

Can I hire a “notary public” in the United States to assist me with my case? In many Latin American countries, the term “notary public” (or notario público in Spanish) means something very different than what it means in the United States. In many Spanish-speaking nations, “notarios” are attorneys with special legal credentials. In the U.S., a notary public is not authorized to provide you with any legal services related to immigration. Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice (DOJ)-recognized organization can give you legal advice.

Before coming to the U.S., should I hire an immigration specialist? I have been told I should give them my important original documents, is this true? No. Don’t let anyone keep your original documents, like your birth certificate or passport. Scammers may keep them until you pay to get them back. These same scammers may also ask you to sign blank documents, suggesting they will fill them out later on your behalf. Never sign a form before it has been filled out, or a form that has false information in it. Furthermore, you should never sign a document that you do not understand.

Who should I notify if I become a victim of immigration scams? What if I am aware of others who have been a victim of immigration scams? Immigration scams are illegal. If you or someone you know has seen an immigration scam or been the victim of one, it's important to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the attorney general of your state. Go to ftc.gov/complaint, call 877-382-4357, or visit naag.org to find out how to contact the attorney general in your state. The FTC does not resolve individual complaints. Instead, the FTC enters complaints in a secure online database used by law enforcement worldwide, including many federal, state, and local officials, who spot trends and build cases. The more information you can give, the more helpful your report is to the person who will investigate. Investigators are grateful for as much information as you feel comfortable giving.

Media

For Inquiries

pressteam@hq.dhs.gov

Press Archives

Progress Reports

Executive Order 14011 (E.O. 14011) directs the Family Reunification Task Force to provide an initial progress report to the President of the United States no later than 120 days after establishment, with interim progress reports every 60 days thereafter. Read our progress reports here.

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Last Published Date: October 12, 2021

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