Malloy offers Connecticut's assistance with reuniting immigrant families

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy addresses the House and the Senate as the legislative session ends at the State Capitol, Thursday, May 10, 2018, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy addresses the House and the Senate as the legislative session ends at the State Capitol, Thursday, May 10, 2018, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Gov. Dannel Malloy on Saturday offered federal authorities assistance in reuniting children and parents who had been separated at the border.

In a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar, the governor pressed federal authorities to work quickly to reunite the families that had been separated under the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy.

"While I will not commit state resources to facilitate the separation of immigrant families, I am ready and willing to offer any state assistance I can to help reunify these families," Malloy wrote in the letter. "Given the thousands of children now spread out around the nation under your care, there is a considerable amount of work ahead for your Department to locate and reconnect children with their parents similarly dispersed across the country."

"Connecticut is eager to assist your efforts to return children to the care of their parents and family," he wrote.

Malloy has equated the policy of separating families to government-sanctioned child abuse. He has refused to direct state resources, including the Connecticut National Guard, to assist with those efforts. He has advocated for the federal government to act quickly to reunite the 2,300 children that had been removed from their parents at the U.S. border. In his offer to assist with those efforts, Malloy has offered the Health and Human Services Department help with identification and coordination of licensed, private providers of housing and care for children waiting to be reunited with their parents, and the services of the statewide refugee coordinator to assist with issues related to both unaccompanied minors and those who have been separated from their families.

Malloy offered recommendations to speed the reunification process and also requested that the department inform the state's child welfare agency when unaccompanied minors are placed in facilities in Connecticut.

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