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Fast facts on separations

MIAMI | According to the federal government, more than 2,300 children were separated from their parents after they entered the U.S. illegally along the border with Mexico between May and June 2018.

On June 20, President Donald Trump signed an executive order putting an end to zero tolerance, the policy that had caused the separations.  

On June 26, a judge in San Diego told the government it had 30 days to reunite all the families who had been separated under the new policy. At the end of July, the government reported to the judge that:

  • 2,531 children had been separated from their parents at the border;
  • 1,442 had been reunited with their parents, who were in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE);
  • 378, including some who turned 18 while in custody, had been reunited with relatives who were not their parents;
  • 711 were not eligible to be reunited with their parents due to a parent’s criminal history or safety concerns;
  • 431 have parents outside the U.S. and the parents of 120 chose not to be reunited. (The numbers do not add up due to duplication.)

Immigration advocates argue that parents and children should be kept together and released from detention centers while they pursue their asylum claims, in keeping with the practices adopted by previous administrations and required by earlier court settlements. They note that a large number of parents who were separated from their children remain in detention or have been deported.

“We want to fight so that they all go through the same process, regardless of whether they arrived a month earlier or in July,” said Kristie Padron, an attorney with Catholic Legal Services of the Archdiocese of Miami. “These families are suffering merely because they arrived during the two months this policy was in effect.”

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