Senators Collins, King Join Bipartisan Group of Senators in Urging Administration to Provide More Information on Family Reunification Process

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) joined a bipartisan group of 14 Senators in sending a letter to the Attorney General and Secretaries of the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting more information about migrant family reunification at the border.


On July 19, a letter co-led by Senator Collins and co-signed by Senator King was sent to President Trump stating that the default position of the United States should be to keep families together at the border and urging the administration to work with the faith community on its efforts to reunify families.


“Throughout this process, affected families, the public, and many congressional offices have sought clarifying information and data from your Departments to explain why policy decisions were made, how those policies have been implemented, and the effects of the implementation,” the Senators wrote. “We understand that certain information may be protected. Throughout this process, we have also requested simple data to give us more complete information for our own legislative decision-making process. Unfortunately, the flow of information to the public and to congressional offices with important oversight responsibilities has been both incomplete and below acceptable standards. Congress and the American people need regularly updated information to remain informed and to ensure Members of Congress are able to fully conduct their important congressional responsibilities.  


“Therefore, we respectfully ask that you provide to interested congressional offices and the relevant oversight Committees in the House and Senate the following information not less than twice a month until 1) all families separated through the zero-tolerance policy have been reunited or 2) a determination has been made that they cannot be reunited, with an explanation for the reasons that is the case,” the Senators continued.


In addition to Senators Collins and King, the letter was signed by Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dean Heller (R-NV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Margaret Hassan (D-NH), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Tom Carper (D-DE).


The full-text of the letter is available HERE.