‘Not my fault’: Trump struggles to defend his record amid setbacks on immigration, trade, North Korea
The Trump administration may have separated thousands of migrant children from their parents at the border for up to a year before family separation was a publicly known practice, according to a stunning government review of the health department’s role in family separation.
A report by the health department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) published on Thursday said officials at the health department estimated “thousands of separated children” were put in health department care before a court order in June 2018 ordered the reunification of 2,600 other children.
“The total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities is unknown,” the report said.
This report shows that not only did the US government probably separate thousands more children from their parents than previously thought, but it was separating families well before the policy was made public in April 2018.
In the summer of 2017, one year before the general public knew mass family separations were taking place, officials at the health department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) observed a steep increase in the number of children referred to ORR care who had been separated from their parents or guardians by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to the report.