June 8 (UPI) — The Trump administration separated more than 3,900 children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border over four years, leaving more than half without a confirmed record of reunification, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.
In a new report from the Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families, the department said the families were broken up during the roughly four years of former President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy on undocumented immigrants crossing the border.
Under that policy, children were taken from their parents and placed in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services. The parents were then prosecuted for illegally crossing the border, some deported back to their home countries.
The Department of Homeland Security said that, with the help of non-governmental agencies, it identified 3,913 separated as part of those zero-tolerance policies. Of those, 1,779 were reunited with their families, but no record of confirmed reunification exists for 2,127 children.
“The Department of Homeland Security is committed to the relentless pursuit of reunifying families who were cruelly separated by the previous Administration,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who serves as the chairman of the task force.
“When we reunified the first seven families last month, I said that this was just the beginning. In the coming weeks, we will reunify 29 more families. In close coordination with non-governmental organizations, legal, and interagency partners, the task force will continue this critical work.”