More Than 5,400 Children Were Separated From Parents at Mexico Border Since July 2017, ACLU Says

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A father embraces his son for the first time in months on Aug. 7, 2018 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. A group of nine children were flown from New York and reunited with their families, months after U.S. border agents separated them and deported the parents as part of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy at the border. (Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

A father embraces his son for the first time in months on Aug. 7, 2018 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. A group of nine children were flown from New York and reunited with their families, months after U.S. border agents separated them and deported the parents as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border. (Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

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The American Civil Liberties Union says U.S. immigration authorities separated more than 1,500 children from their parents at the Mexico border early in the Trump administration, bringing the total number of children separated since July 2017 to more than 5,400.

The ACLU said Thursday the government told its attorneys that 207 of the 1,556 children separated between July 1, 2017, and June 26, 2018, were under 5.

A federal judge in San Diego has given the government until Friday to identify children separated going back to July 2017.

The government had inadequate tracking systems at the time, complicating efforts to locate children.

Volunteers working with the ACLU are searching for some of them and their parents by going door-to-door in Guatemala and Honduras.

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