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The number of children split from their parents at U.S.-Mexico border tops 5,400

A child running down an empty hallway
An asylum-seeking boy from Central America runs down a hall at a shelter in San Diego. Photo: Gregory Bull/AP

The number of children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border by U.S. immigration authorities since July 2017 is now 5,460, according to ACLU data reported by AP.

Why it matters: Obtaining a comprehensive count of the children separated at the border was a difficult task because of poor government accounting, especially in the earliest days of the family separation policy. The government has also struggled to properly keep track of parents in order to be able to reunite them with their children.

  • Of those separated from July 1, 2017, to June 26, 2018, 207 were under 5.

The big picture: The Trump administration has tried to find other ways to curb immigration, mainly from Central America, since the failed family separation policy.

  • Thousands of migrants from Central America and Cuba have been sent to Mexico to wait for immigration court hearings rather than being released into the U.S.

Go deeper: Court blocks Trump from indefinitely detaining migrant families