A report published by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Social Services explained how more migrant children were separated from their parents under the Trump administration that previously revealed Thursday, according to NBC News.
The report also said that the state of their reunification is unknown.
The separation of families began in the summer of 2017, a year before the Trump administration implemented its policy of "zero tolerance", which pursued immigrant parents for crossing the border without papers. identity while keeping their children separately in the custody of the HHS.
The ACLU represented separated families in a class action before a federal judge who ordered the government to reunite them at a deadline last year.
But the government has not been ordered to reunite children separated from their parents until former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces the "zero tolerance" policy. Some of them have already been handed over to unrelated parents or sponsors, but it is difficult to know how many have been brought together. Parents.
"We do not have any information on these children who were released before the court order," a press officer told the HHS inspector general's office Thursday.
HHS representatives stated that they were not interested in whether the children released from their custody had been separated from their parents at the border or had crossed the border without a parent.
Officials said they felt it was "thousands" of separated children, based on interviews with HHS staff, but that "there is no reason to worry about it. they could not provide more accurate numbers.
"Thousands of children may have been separated during an influx started in 2017, before the accounting required by the Court, and the HHS has had trouble identifying separated children," says the report.
Children were previously separated from their parents only if adults had a criminal history, but it is unclear whether they have a history of violence, according to the report.
A majority of the migrants being prosecuted at the border are arrested for illegal entry and not for violent crimes, according to a report prepared by the University of Syracuse.
The Department of Homeland Security did not provide information on the criminal history of the parents at HHS, although HHS sought this information from the DHS headed by administrator Kristjen Nielsen.
House of Representatives Judiciary President Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has asked for a number of documents and communications related to the family separation policy earlier in the week.
"There remains a lot of unanswered questions about the development and implementation of the family separation policy or" zero tolerance policy "of the Trump administration," wrote the New York Democrat in a statement. letter published Monday as one of his first acts as new chairman of the committee. .
First, the DHS said that I had composed the family separation, that the sources were lying to me and giving false documents. Then they said … https://t.co/KSAZCdogUE
Latest News: Thousands of migrant children more likely separated from their families than what was officially announced … https://t.co/wUAVOL9lq3
The letter asked for information on "any pilot family separation program," the health and safety of government-held children, and a reunification strategy for families – the departments of Homeland Security, Health, and Family Services. the person and Justice before February 8th.
But Nadler said that because of the partial closure of the government, which is approaching the fifth week, the committee will work with departments to find a "workable deadline as a closing process".
In the spring and last summer, more than 2,000 children were known to have been separated from their parents at the border, before President Donald Trump signed a decree ending the practice on June 20.
Nadler asked for an unwritten copy of a DHS memo on the policy signed by Secretary Nielsen.
"The recent tragic deaths in custody of young children underline the need to monitor the policies of the administration," says the letter.
Two Guatemalan children died after being stopped by customs officers and border patrols in December, under the supervision of DHS.