EAST HARLEM, Manhattan — Hundreds of children taken from their parents under President Donald Trump's family separation policy are at an East Harlem facility, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
There are 239 children there right now and more than 350 kids taken from their parents have come through the facility, including a 9-month old child, officials said. One, a 9-year-old boy from Honduras, was placed in the facility by immigration officials after traveling 2,000 miles across the country on a bus. He doesn't know when he'll see his mother again.
"Children - not numbers, not nameless, faceless people - actual children with names, with families are having their lives disrupted right now," de Blasio said.
His visit to the facility came as Trump signed an executive order to keep families together at the southern border going forward. Thousands of children have been separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border since April, when the Trump administration enacted its “zero tolerance” immigration policy. It calls for all cases of illegal entry be referred for criminal prosecution.
His administration is facing a lawsuit from New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo intends to sue over the policy, he said Tuesday night.
De Blasio will leave for Tornillo, Texas Wednesday afternoon, his chief spokesman said. He and mayors from across the country will attempt to gain access to a detention facility there on Thursday morning.