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Cruz Demands Answers About Biden Administration’s Use of Family Reunification Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has written a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding answers about President Joe Biden’s Family Reunification Task Force (FRTF).

As one of his first acts, President Joe Biden ordered the formation of the FRTF, which works to reunite minors with their families if they are separated while trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border. This is due to differences in the rules governing how long U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can legally hold minors versus adults.

Senator Cruz wrote to Secretary Mayorkas about how DHS is using its “temporary parole authority,” which grants temporary permission for family members to enter and legally remain in the U.S. in order to reunite with separated minors. The FRTF’s website says that DHS works to reunite children with “household members,” which Senator Cruz wrote “would seem to indicate that a broader pool of persons related to an applicant may be eligible for reunification.”

Senator Cruz wrote:

It is unclear if standard vetting processes are applied in such cases where presumably, some, or perhaps many, of these household members reunified in the U.S. were previously expelled for illegally crossing the border in contradiction of federal criminal law. Generally, such persons would be barred from re-entry to the U.S. for a period ranging anywhere from 5 up to 20 years.

Senator Cruz demanded answers to a series 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.

Read the letter here.