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Parents of 7 more separated migrant children have been found, lawyer says

It brings the number of parents left to be reached to 499. Families were separated under the Trump administration's policies.
Image: New Tent Camps Go Up In West Texas For Migrant Children Separated From Parents
Children and workers at a tent encampment built near the Tornillo Port of Entry in Tornillo, Texas, on June 19, 2018.Joe Raedle / Getty Images file

The parents of seven more children separated under the Trump administration's hardline border policies have been found since Wednesday, a lawyer working to reunite families said.

That brings the number of children whose parents have yet to be reached to 499, said Lee Gelernt, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union who has been part of an effort to find the families of separated children.

On Wednesday, lawyers working to reunite the families reported they had found the parents of 105 children in the past month.

The steering committee of pro bono lawyers and advocates said then that they had yet to find the parents of 506 children, down from 611 on Jan. 14 — so finding the parents of seven more children brought that number to 499.

Thousands of parents were separated from their children under the administration of President Donald Trump, which instituted a "zero tolerance" policy and other measures at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The administration of President Joe Biden recently formed a task force that will place the responsibility of finding and reuniting the families separated by the Trump administration in the hands of the federal government.

The number of parents who have been reached is not the same as those who have been reunited, Gelernt said.

Lawyers hope to soon provide the Biden task force with a number of how many have been reunited, he said. One major reason many parents remain separated is that they do not want to bring their children from the United States back to dangerous home countries, according to Gelernt.

Phil Helsel contributed.