The US government has separated at least 2,000 children from parents at the border since implementing a policy that results in such family separations, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed Friday.
From April 19 through May 31 of this year, 1,995 minors traveling with 1,940 adults who said they were the children’s guardians were separated due to the policy, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters on a conference call.
The call was largely to defend the administration’s decision to charge every adult caught crossing the border illegally with federal crimes, as opposed to referring those with children mainly to immigration courts, as previous administrations did. The officials used the opportunity, otherwise on the condition of anonymity, to accuse the press of spreading falsehoods about the policy.
Because the government is charging the parents in the criminal justice system, children are separated from them, with no clear procedure for their reunification aside from hotlines the parents can call to try to track their children down.