HHS IG: Thousands More Migrant Children May Have Been Separated from Parents

Migrants from Hondura walk along a road in Esquipulas, Guatemala January 16, 2019. (Jorge Cabrera/Reuters)

The government may have separated thousands more migrant children from their families than previously reported, according to a report released Thursday by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services.

“The total number and current status of all children separated from their parents or guardians . . . is unknown,” according to the report, which found that families were being separated even before the Trump administration implemented its controversial zero-tolerance immigration-enforcement policy last spring. Over 2,700 children were separated after the policy took effect, and most of those were returned to their families as a result of a federal court case in which the judge ordered the administration to reunite them. But “an estimated thousands of children whom [immigration authorities] separated during an influx that began in 2017,” before the policy was implemented, did not fall under the court case’s directive, the report said.

Federal authorities separated “more children over a longer period of time” than previously understood, and “how many more children were separated is unknown, by us and HHS,” an HHS investigator told Politico.

The report also heavily criticized HHS officials for losing track of a number of separated children.

“It is not yet clear whether [HHS’s] recent changes are sufficient to ensure consistent and accurate data about separated children, and the lack of detail in information received from [immigration authorities] continues to pose challenges,” the report said.

Most Popular

White House

Another Warning Sign

The Mueller report is of course about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about the White House's interference in the resulting investigation. But I couldn’t help also reading the report as a window into the manner of administration that characterizes the Trump era, and therefore as another warning ... Read More

What’s So Great about Western Civilization

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Redacted: Harm to Ongoing Matter), One of the things I tell new parents is something that was told to me when my daughter still had that ... Read More
Film & TV

Jesus Is Not the Joker

Actors love to think they can play anything, but the job of any half-decent filmmaker is to tell them when they’re not right for a part. If the Rock wants to play Kurt Cobain, try to talk him out of it. Adam Sandler as King Lear is not a great match. And then there’s Joaquin Phoenix. He’s playing Jesus ... Read More
White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More

Supreme Court Mulls Citizenship Question for Census

Washington -- The oral arguments the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday will be more decorous than the gusts of judicial testiness that blew the case up to the nation’s highest tribunal. The case, which raises arcane questions of administrative law but could have widely radiating political and policy ... Read More