Trump Separated Far More Migrant Children From Parents Than Previously Reported

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead/Public Domain


In total, more than 5,000 migrant children have been separated from their parents under President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration separated more than 4,000 migrant children from their parents during its attempt to deter illegal crossings at the southern U.S. border.

The Washington Post editorial board wrote on Tuesday that “16 months after a federal judge ordered migrant families reunified, has the scale of the administration’s cruelty become understood.”

Just hours before the deadline imposed by U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw to produce a full accounting of all children removed from their families, the federal government submitted its numbers to the American Civil Liberties Union — whose volunteers have taken on the task of cleaning up “the mess created by President Trump” and many others, the board wrote.

On top of “the 2,814 traumatized children who had been separated and were in custody under the government’s policy of ‘zero tolerance’ for unauthorized border crossers,” an additional 1,556 children had been removed from their families in the 12 months prior — including more than 300 who were under the age of five.

The editorial board lamented the administration’s deeds:

Imagine, if you can, the suffering visited upon those children, including many still in diapers and requiring afternoon naps, by the administration’s cavalier brutality and incompetence — the anguish of little girls and boys removed from their parents for weeks or months because of a president lacking a conscience and a government whose data systems were not suited to the task of reunification. Those wounds won’t heal easily, or ever.

More than 1,000 additional children have been separated from their parents since the “zero tolerance” policy was abandoned, the board said. Those minors were removed because “their parents or guardians endangered or abused them, or were unable to care for them, or were criminals, or were not actually their parents.”

That is the explanation the government has given, but the ACLU contends “that in some cases, those separations are also unjustified, triggered by minor offenses committed by the parents, such as shoplifting or driving without a valid license.”

Read the full op-ed.


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