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People march in support of separated migrant families in June 2018. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

During the family separation crisis last year, Health and Human Services facilities struggled to provide adequate mental health care to migrant children as required under the Flores agreement, according to a new agency watchdog report.

Why it matters: Many of these migrant minors had already faced signifiant trauma in their home countries and in their travel to the border — such as physical abuse, kidnapping, rape and other forms of violence, according to the report. In addition, child migrant care facilities told the Inspector General (OIG) "addressing the unique mental health needs of separated children was particularly challenging."

Key quotes: "Separated children exhibited more fear, feelings of abandonment, and post-traumatic stress than did children who were not separated. Separated children experienced heightened feelings of anxiety and loss as a result of their unexpected separation from their parents..."

  • "Children who did not understand why they were separated from their parents suffered elevated levels of mental distress."
  • "The level of trauma and unique experiences of separated children made it more difficult to... address children’s mental health needs."
  • The report also found that the uncertainty and chaos surrounding the reunification process added to migrant children's emotional distress.
  • One child was moved to a different care facility to be reunited with her father, but "after the child made several trips to the detention center, she was returned to the Florida facility 'in shambles' without ever seeing her father."

What to watch: Dozens of migrant parents are preparing to sue the U.S. government, claiming their children were harmed while in HHS custody during family separation, the AP reported last month. It found taxpayers could end up having to pay $200 million in damages.

Go deeper

National Guard chief says it took 3 hours for Pentagon to grant Jan. 6 request

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, will testify Wednesday that it took three hours and 19 minutes for Pentagon leadership to approve a request for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to his prepared remarks.

Why it matters: The timeline over when National Guard requests were made and granted has been a key point of contention in congressional hearings examining the security failures surrounding the Capitol riots.

7 mins ago - World

International Criminal Court opens Israel-Palestine war crimes probe

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu has strongly objected to the investigation. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday announced her intention to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories since 2014.

Why it matters: The investigation is expected to consider possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the 2014 war in Gaza, as well as the construction of West Bank settlements by Israel. It could sharply increase tensions between Israel, which fiercely opposes the probe, and Palestinian leaders, who requested it.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
45 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Exxon says it's well-positioned amid investor pressure

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

ExxonMobil said Wednesday that its oil-and-gas development plans will create good returns even at modest oil prices as the company looks to win back investor confidence after several rocky years.

Driving the news: The company, just ahead of an investor presentation this morning, said its investments are designed to generate returns of over 30% and touted its spending reductions.