Trump Administration Raises Estimate of Children Separated From Parents to 3,000 — Including About 100 Toddlers
The Trump administration admitted Thursday that the government has separated hundreds more children from their parents after illegal border crossings than had previously been revealed and that none of the families have yet been reunited.
Roughly 100 of the children are younger than 5, Alex M. Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services, whose agency has custody of the children, told reporters on a conference call. The total number of children taken from their parents may be as high as nearly 3,000, he said.
Azar said the new numbers reflect reports from different immigration agencies and a manual review by himself and others of case files from about 11,800 immigrant children in his agency’s care. About 80% of those children arrived without parents at the border, most were teenage boys.
Azar sharply objected to court orders that have directed the government to reunite the families and have limited how long officials can hold children in immigrant detention. He warned that families may remain in the custody of immigration authorities for long periods, including those claiming asylum.
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