Family separation

DHS never had technology needed to track separated migrant kids

Protestors holding signs opposing Trump immigration policies. One says "Stop separating families"
Photo: Tom Cooper/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) never had proper systems in place to keep track of separated migrant children under the "zero tolerance" policy, according to a new report from the agency's inspector general (IG).

Why it matters: Immigration officials knew about the tracking issues ahead of time and anticipated separating more than 26,000 children within a few months, but the policy was rolled out anyway. It took months for families to be reunited, causing thousands of kids to be traumatized. The IG could not confirm how many were impacted or whether all have been reunited.

Record number of migrant children held in U.S custody in 2019

People protest holding children in custody.
People protest holding children in custody in September in New York City. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

New government data shows that the U.S. government held 69,550 migrant children in custody in 2019, a 42% increase from fiscal year 2018, the AP reports.

Why it matters: UN researchers report that the U.S. detained more children than any other country in the world this year.