Few Guatemalan children have been reunited with their parents in the United States under a program designed to do so, a new report finds.
The report, conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that only 11 of the 1,977 Guatemalan children referred to the program had been reunited with their parents. The study was conducted between April and June of this year.
The program, called the Family Reunification Program (FRP), is a joint effort between the U.S. and Guatemala to reunite unaccompanied children with their parents in the U.S. It was launched in 2018 in response to the growing number of children crossing the U.S. border without their parents.
The report found that the delays in reuniting the children with their parents were due to “challenges in identifying and verifying parentage and locating parents in the United States.”
The report also found that the Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for locating parents in the U.S., was not adequately coordinating with the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for verifying parentage.
The report said that the Department of Homeland Security had not conducted reviews of the FRP, and that the program lacked performance measures to track its progress.
The report concluded that the Department of Health and Human Services should improve its coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, and that both departments should set performance measures for the program.
The report comes as the Biden administration is pushing for a more humane immigration policy, which includes reuniting families. However, the report's findings show that the program is falling short of its goal.