NY State Legislators Push for Transparency on Separated Children

Claudia (center), who is still trying to reunite with her son, alongside New Sanctuary Coalition executive director Ravi Ragbir and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein on the far right, in Foley Square on Oct. 15. (Photo by Chelsey Sanchez via The Indypendent)

Members of the New York State Legislature hope a bill, currently sitting in the Senate Rules Committee, could bring some answers to the parents separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border, reports Chelsey Sanchez in The Indypendent.

On Monday at Foley Square, state Sen. Brian Benjamin and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, who co-sponsored the Separation of Children Accountability Response (SCAR) Act in their respective chambers, joined members of the New Sanctuary Coalition, religious leaders and those affected by the border separations, in calling for greater transparency and accountability on the part of the federal government.

The SCAR Act would require every federally-contracted child welfare agency in the state that is holding impacted children to report to the Commissioner of Children and Family Services every 15 days. This report would provide essential information on the detained children, such as how many of them are currently in the system and how many have thus far been reunited with their parents. Reported information would then be made available to the public.

Sanchez notes that the state legislature will not be in session until January 2019. However, the bill could still have a chance of passing before then with the help of Gov. Cuomo.

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