Over 5,400 children have been separated from their families at the US-Mexico border under Trump: Report

After Donald Trump took office, 1,500 more children were separated from their parents at the Mexico border, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said on Thursday, October 24


                            Over 5,400 children have been separated from their families at the US-Mexico border under Trump: Report

The Donald Trump administration has always been at the receiving end over its draconian immigration stand which has seen families getting separated at borders.

In the early days after Trump took office, 1,500 more children were separated from their parents at the Mexico border—the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said on Thursday, October 24.

This brings the total number of children separated since July 2017 to over 5,400, the Associated Press reported.

According to the ACLU, the administration informed its attorneys that 1,556 children were separated between July 1, 2017, and June 26, 2018, when a federal judge in San Diego ordered reuniting the children kept in the government custody with their parents. The majority of the children detained are aged 12 and under and more than 200 of them are yet to turn five.

A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 in McAllen, Texas (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The ACLU said the Justice Department disclosed the final tally, which is over and above the 2,700-plus kids known to have been separated last year -- hours before the deadline to identify all children separated since the middle of 2017 arrived.

In January, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department's internal watchdog said that potentially thousands more had been separated since July 2017, prompting District Judge Dana Sabraw to give the administration six months to identify those separated. An HHS Office of Inspector General's report in January disclosed that the Trump administration may have separated more families than it was told to the public. The ACLU eventually received the last batch of 1,556 names. 

Trump took office as the 45th president on January 20 that year.

It was reported that tracking the children from that period is a challenging task because of inadequate tracking systems. ACLU volunteers are on the hunt for some of them and their parents by knocking doors in Guatemala and Honduras, the AP report added. 

"It is shocking that 1,556 more families, including babies and toddlers, join the thousands of others already torn apart by this inhumane and illegal policy. Families have suffered tremendously, and some may never recover,” Lee Gelernt, an attorney  at the ACLU, which has filed over 110 lawsuits against the Trump administration, said.

The ACLU complained that the authorities abused their discretion by separating families over allegations and transgressions that looked shaky. After the disclosure on Thursday, the number of children separated since July 2017 reached 5,460.

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