Agency That Cares for Migrant Kids Wasn't Told Trump Admin. Was Separating Families, House Report Says

"Unbeknownst to HHS, CBP had been conducting a family separation pilot [program in El Paso] that led to hundreds of separations," said the report

A child watches as a U.S. Border Patrol agent searches a Central American immigrant
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The federal agency that cares for migrant children was not told the Trump administration was intentionally separating parents and children at the border, even after an official asked why there was a surge in unaccompanied minors requiring care, according to a House Judiciary Committee report released Thursday, NBC News reports.

In 2017, the administration launched a pilot program for separating migrant children and parents in El Paso, Texas. The program lasted about six months, during which time more than 1,100 children were separated from their parents, according to court documents.

When a Department of Health and Human Services official emailed then-Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to ask about the surge, McAleenan told the HHS official he should’ve seen a change "in the past 10 days." That's because the pilot program has just ended.

McAleenan did not, however, tell the official that the months-long surge had been the result of intentional family separations.

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Nine parents who were deported under the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy reunited with their children Wednesday after a year and a half of separation. Their return to the U.S. was mandated by a federal judge, who found that the U.S. government acted unlawfully.
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