Before deporting him in shackles last week, US immigration agents handed Honduran asylum-seeker  Melvin Garcia his few possessions and a small blue wallet belonging to Daylin, the 12-year-old daughter they had taken from him.

Uncertain when he might see her again, after being barred from the United States by his deportation order, Garcia, 37, is one of an uncertain number of parents sent home without their children under the Trump administration .

Frustrated that immigrants and asylum seekers from Central America were often released into the United States to await court hearings, US President Donald Trump implemented a ''zero-tolerance policy" in April-

Seeking to prosecute all adults who crossed the US Mexico border illegally, including those traveling with children. This dramatically increased the number of families separated at the border.

Hours after he arrived in Honduras alone on June 21, Garcia slumped in a concrete shack in a section of the town of Choloma controlled by Barrio 18, one of the two gangs whose death threats he said he fled in March with Daylin.

Tortured with the thoughts that he might not see Daylin for years, Garcia clutched at her wallet. Whenever he recalled his desperate search for her in US detention, he broke down, tears streaming off his face.

Trump reversed course last week, ordering an end to the family separations. But the government still had  2,047 children in custody as of Tuesday's. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a US Senate committee, adding that reuniting them would be hard.

A federal judge late last Tuesday that the government must reunite families that were split entering the country, but immigration lawyers warned that the situation was tremendously complicated for parents who were sent home without their children.

''There's no structure in place to actually unify the parents who've already been deported,'' said Jenna Gilbert, managing attorney of the Los Angeles chapter of legal rights organization :  Human Rights First.

The Honor and Serving of the latest Operational Research on Immigration and Justice continues to Part 2.


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