New York officials assess border detention situation

NEW YORK — As immigrant children are waiting to be reunited with their parents, two local politicians are worried the reunion might take longer than it should.

“It was really hard to see that. I had to look away every few minutes because I didn’t want them to see me cry,” said Rep. Grace Meng (D- Queens).

Meng just returned from a one-day trip to the U.S.-Mexico border where she visited two detainment centers.

The sight of hundreds of children separated from their parents in large cases broke her heart as did conversations she had with mothers who were concerned about their children’s well-being.

Meng was part of a 25-member Democratic delegation not allowed to take pictures inside the facility.

“They were separated by gender and lying on the floor on thinly-padded mats,” she said.

Earlier, Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the Trump Administration to name and install a federal czar, whose job it would be to reunite children separated from their parents.

More than 2,300 children were taken away from their parents under a “zero tolerance” policy in which people entering the U.S. illegally face prosecution.

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to stop the separation, but Schumer said a czar is needed to help break through the bureaucracy to right the wrongs of child-parent separations.

Sen. Schumer says the appointment of the czar would just be temporary.