A special review of Trump’s “Zero Tolerance Policy” that forced 2,600 migrant children to be separated from their family members has been released from the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. The report is titled “Initial Observations Regarding Family Separation Issues Under the Zero Tolerance Policy.”
The report found that during the implementation of Trump’s “Zero Tolerance Policy,” Border Patrol violated the mandated limits of holding children in custody for no more than 72 hours unless there were “exceptional circumstances.” After a maximum of 72 hours in most cases, children are to be transferred to Health and Human Services. But, during Trump’s policy, “Border patrol data shows that the Rio Grande Valley sector exceeded the 72-hour time period for at least 564 children.” Considering 564 children equated to 44 percent of children detained during this time, this hardly seems to be “exceptional circumstances.”
According to the Inspector General’s report, while CBP was separating migrant children from their families, they “had to supervise and take care of children” instead of “patrolling and securing the border,” i.e. what they were hired to do.
The data in the Inspector General’s report gave data on separating migrant children until September 20, 2018. According to Rolling Stone, the report makes it clear “that the Trump administration has still not met a court order to reunify the families separated…on account of the policy.” The data shows that 403 children that had been “deemed eligible for reunification” have not been reunited with their families. 19 of those kids are under the age of five.
Equally as disturbing, the report shows that Border Patrol has been “metering” asylum seekers. When there is not enough space to process asylum seekers, Border Patrol would close the border. It is not yet clear if this practice is lawful (under Federal or international law), but even if it is, it is a gross inconsideration for the. Hardships and desperation of asylum seekers to be in a place of safety.
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