First separated parents returning from Guatemala to U.S. as part of court order

January 22, 2020


Los Angeles – Nine parents who were among the many hundreds separated from their children during the Trump Administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy in the summer of 2018 are finally returning to the United States and arriving at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) today, January 22. The administration is being forced to return them as a result of a court order issued in September 2019. The parents are expected to be paroled and reunited with their children.

A pro bono attorney for KIND, Linda Dakin-Grimm of Milbank, represents a separated father who is returning today after having been separated from the family for more than 18 months. Dakin-Grimm, who will accompany the father to the United States from Guatemala, also represents members of his separated family in the United States, three children and their mother.

“KIND is thrilled by this first, small step in righting the wrong that was done to thousands of families by the Trump Administration through its deeply flawed and inhumane ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “This family has waited a long time for their father to return, and we are pleased that they can now take the next step toward seeking safety in the United States.”

The small group of parents coming back to the United States today are returning as a result of a September 2019 court order by San Diego District Court Judge Dana Sabraw. The ruling requires the U.S. to allow 11 parents who were deported without their children to re-enter the United States, finding that the Trump Administration had unlawfully prevented the parents from pursuing asylum, or, in some cases, that agents coerced the parents into signing deportation documents under the guise that it was the only way they would be reunited with their children. Hundreds of parents who were deported remain separated from their children even today. KIND, together with other non-governmental organizations and the courts, is working to continue to locate and identify these parents.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Linda Dakin-Grimm or the family, please contact Megan McKenna,, 202-631-9990.