ACLU Comment on Scathing New Government Report on Trump Family Separation Policy

March 5, 2020 5:15 pm

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NEW YORK — A new internal government report is slamming the Trump administration’s implementation of its family separation policy, citing poor interagency planning and major lapses in communication that put children at risk.

The report was published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and includes alarming key takeaways, including:

• “Poor interagency communication and internal management decisions that failed to protect children’s interests left HHS unprepared for the zero-tolerance policy”

• “This lack of preparation impeded HHS’s ability to identify, care for, and reunify separated children”

• “Care provider facilities faced significant operational challenges at every stage of reunification, causing additional stress to children”

The American Civil Liberties Union successfully sued to block the family separation policy and immediately reunite families. Thousands of families were torn apart by this inhumane practice, which sparked global outrage and was designed to scare other families from seeking refuge in the United States. Many families remain separated today.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and lead attorney in the family separation lawsuit, said:

“This report shows that high-level officials chose to ignore the warnings about the harms of family separation. It also raises serious questions about whether the lack of interagency communication has still not been fixed. Thousands of children are living with trauma because of this policy.”

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