DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY CLAIMS 2,000 CHILDREN SEPARATED FROM PARENTS
WASHINGTON - The US government has separated at least 2,000 children from parents at the border since implementing a policy that results in such family separations, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed Friday.
From April 19 through May 31 of this year, 1,995 minors traveling with 1,940 adults who said they were the children's guardians were separated due to the policy, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters on a conference call.
The call was largely to defend an administration decision to charge every adult caught crossing the border illegally with federal crimes as opposed to referring those with children mainly to immigration courts, as previous administrations did. The officials used the opportunity, otherwise on the condition of anonymity, to accuse the press of spreading falsehoods about the policy.
Because the government is charging the parents in the criminal justice system, children are separated from them, with no clear procedure for their reunification aside from hotlines the parents can call to try to track their children down.
The policy to refer all adults for charges was publicly announced May 7, though the Justice Department announced it would prosecute 100% of the cases referred to it at the beginning of April. On the call, Department of Homeland Security also said that prosecutions have more than doubled, but acknowledges they are not currently at 100%. Asked why they...