Feds Find an Additional 1,250 Immigrant Children Separated From Parents
The federal government admitted an additional 1,250 kids have been separated at the U.S. border, though the ACLU suggests that number may be as high as 2,000.
On Friday, a Health and Human Services official told a federal judge that an additional 1,250 immigrant children were likely separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border before the U.S. formally announced its “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Though
As Courthouse News wrote, “Health and Human Services Cmdr. Jonathan White told U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw he believes a ‘final accounting’ would show at least 1,250 additional kids have been separated from their parents before Sabraw issued an injunction stopping the family separation practice.”
Sabraw originally ordered the Trump administration to stop forcibly separating detained immigrant parents and their children in June of 2018 and is now presiding over an expanded family separation class action lawsuit in the Southern District of California.
A January report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) caught the national spotlight after it sounded the alarm that thousands more children may have been separated at the border than originally thought. In response to the OIG report, Sabraw gave the federal government a six-month deadline to complete the process of identifying all additional families that may have been separated.
In a related class action lawsuit in Arizona, the ACLU is suing the Trump administration for millions in damages and health services for the thousands of families separated by the U.S. government since 2017. In that case, the ACLU alleged that an additional 2,000 children were separated from their families by the government that have not been identified to the court.
The ACLU also alerted the courts last July that the federal government had continued the practice of separating immigrant children from their family despite Sabraw’s nationwide injunction in June. The ACLU alleged 911 children, including 185 toddlers under the age of 5, had been separated from their families since Sabraw’s ruling.
According to a memo by the ACLU, the government was separating families based on parents’ alleged past history of criminal activity, including minor offenses. Of the 678 separations, only half reported a conviction occurred.
“Some children have been separated from their parents due to minor criminal records, like a father who was separated from his 2-year-old due to ‘public intoxication arrests and DUI.’ Another child, just 8 months old, was separated from his father for ‘fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation arrest,” explained Courthouse News.
The ACLU asked Sabraw to find the continued separations in violation of his federal injunction, a decision Sabraw will reportedly rule on soon.