New Count By ACLU Brings Migrant Children Separation Totals Up To 5,400
In a shocking update on the “zero-tolerance” policy that separated families seeking asylum to the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union has uncovered a list of 1,556 names of migrant children who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border that were previously uncounted in totals before.
According to CBS News, the additional names uncovered were separated before the zero-tolerance policy was fully implemented.
In addition to those names, another 1,090 children have been identified as having been separated since the zero-tolerance policy came to an end. The administration initially justified these separations as necessary to protect the safety of the child, citing threats such as doubting the adult they came with was truly their parent or other reasons, NBC News reported.
But as prior reporting from HillReporter.com has noted, the justifications by the administration to continue separating children sometimes relied on dubious rationales. In one instance, a parent was separated from their child because they had an HIV diagnosis and the child did not. In another example, a father was separated from his daughter because he didn’t want to change her diaper until after she completed a nap. NBC also reported that simple traffic offenses also resulted in justifying separating parents from children.
U.S. immigration authorities separated more than 1,500 children from their parents at the Mexico border early in the Trump administration, the ACLU said, bringing the total number of children separated since July 2017 to more than 5,400. https://t.co/2LxeHGYIoR
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) October 25, 2019
As a result of both sets of new data, the total number of migrant children separated from their families while crossing the border by the U.S. government since July 2017 is at 5,460 kids.
Many of these children may not see their parents they were separated from for quite some time still. In the early part of the zero-tolerance separation policy, the administration lacked the means to track children and families they had separated, making it very difficult for government officials to find the parents or guardians that children were stripped away from.