Current Events

Children Separated At U.S. Southern Border


A new gov’t report reveals more children may have been separated than previously reported & sheds lights on reunification efforts.

Current Events

A Look Back At 2018:

April – June: Est. 2,342 children were separated from families & put in gov’t custody under the “zero tolerance” policy (req’d arrest of any adult crossing illegally). Previously, adults w/ child(ren) may avoid arrest.

June: Federal court ordered gov’t to end to policy & reunify all children separated (then at 2,654) of families who met certain criteria.

Current Events

Latest From New Report:

  • Widespread practice of separating dates back to at least Summer 2017. Before then, separations were used sparingly.
  • The total number of children separated is unknown.
  • In December, HHS identified a total of 2,737 separated children of families who met the reunification criteria, 77% (2,131) of whom were reunified with family.
Current Events

What About The Rest?

  • 526 children were released to a sponsor (typically a parent or close relative living in U.S.)
  • 95 children’s parents declined reunification
  • 28 children had a parent deemed unfit & ineligible for reunification
  • 28 children were improperly classified as separated
  • 8 children were in the process of reunification
Current Events

“HHS faced challenges in identifying separated children… The effort undertaken by HHS was complex, fast-moving, and resource-intensive. (The IG) report provides a window into the herculean work of the HHS career staff to ‘rapidly identify children in (its) care who had been separated from their parents and reunify them.”

HHS Statement on IG Report
Current Events

In addition to the minors (under 18) separated from their families or guardians at the border, the gov't has another 10,000 who crossed the border alone (commonly referred to as Unaccompanied Alien Children ) in custody awaiting judicial resolution of their immigration status.

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