The Trump Administration Is Separating 65 Children a Day From Their Parents

In just over a month, 2,342 kids were separated from their parents.

Akemi Vargas, 8, cries as she talks about being separated from her father at a family separation protest on Monday in Phoenix.Ross D. Franklin/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

The Trump administration separated 2,342 children from 2,206 parents along the US-Mexico border between May 5 and June 9. That means an average of about 65 children per day were separated from their parents under the zero-tolerance initiative that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen unveiled in May.

The Trump administration announced on Friday that 1,995 children were separated from their parents between April 19 and May 31, or 47 per children per day. As Vox reports, that included about two weeks when the zero-tolerance policy was not in full effect. The new data, which was announced on a Trump administration press call, shows that children are being separated more quickly now that the initiative has ramped up.

The zero-tolerance policy separates families by prosecuting parents and other border-crossers for entering the United States without authorization. Their children are then classified as “unaccompanied minors” and are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Steven Wagner, a Trump appointee at HHS, said on Tuesday, “I don’t know how many separated kids have been placed or reunited with parents.” The Trump administration is currently fighting a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union that would require families to be reunited after they are separated during criminal proceedings.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate