Immigrant Families: Separation, Reunification, and Legal Challenges


Event Summary This event has passed.

The Trump Administration’s May 2018 “zero tolerance policy” means that every person caught crossing the border illegally will be referred for federal prosecution on criminal charges and sent to detention centers awaiting trial. A painful consequence of this policy has been the separation of over 2,300 children from their parents since May 5, 2018 due to the fact that minors cannot be kept in federal criminal detention facilities.

Public outcry quickly arose over separating migrant children, including those as young as 8 months old, from their parents. Concerns also mounted over the conditions of the child detention centers where they were housed, with images surfacing of children sleeping inside cage-like metal fences.

This week, Trump signed an executive order ending the practice of separating migrant children from their parents. However, the path forward remains unclear, particularly for the children who have already been separated from their families.

To discuss the humanitarian, legal, and political challenges going forward, the Inter-American Dialogue is pleased to host a panel discussion on Friday, June 29.

Follow this event on Twitter at #ImmigrantFamilies and @The_Dialogue.


Sandra Grossman

Managing Partner and Founder, Grossman Law (@GrossmanLawLLC)

Angela Kelley

Senior Strategic Advisor on Immigration, Open Society Foundations (@amkelley0616)

Manuel Orozco

Director, Migration, Remittances and Development Program, Inter-American Dialogue (@ManuelOrozco65)


Michael Shifter

President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)