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Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:08 AM

Family Separations Continue in Homeland Security 'Gray Area' Despite Ban

Katie Tandy
Published on Feb 9

Children cry as a group of Central American migrants surrender to U.S. Border Patrol agents after jumping over the metal barrier separating Playas de Tijuana in Mexico from the United States in December 2018. (Guillermo Arias/AFP-Getty Images)

Hundreds of migrant children have been separated from their parents at the border even after a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to stop family separation last June.

On Thursday, a congressional oversight hearing the first of its kind to examine the Trump administration in regards to immigration looked into why these separations are still happening.

The hearing comes on the heels of a watchdog report issued by the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services, which found administration officials will likely never know the exact number of families separated. The report states that because the Department of Homeland Security continues to provide the Office of Refugee Resettlement with "limited information about the reasons for these separations," this may impede the ORR's ability to determine placements and continue to impact the accuracy of data surrounding separated children.

Currently, the exact number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities is unknown, but according to the Department of Health and Human Services in June, there were more than 2,700 children in its care. Thousands more children may have been separated during an influx that began in 2017 prior to the accounting required by the court however, the report continued.


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