More than 500 children reunited with families after Trump ends family separation

More than 500 children reunited with families after Trump ends family separation

Trump's order said the government would maintain a "zero tolerance" policy toward those who break the law, but the senior US official, asked to explain how the government would change enforcement practices, said Border Patrol agents were instructed Wednesday evening to stop sending parents with children to federal courthouses for prosecution. In the past, the agency says, many parents have elected to be deported without their children. "There has been no change to the Department's zero tolerance policy to prosecute adults who cross our border illegally instead of claiming asylum at any port of entry at the border", Sarah Isgur Flores said.

How the government would reunite families has been unclear because the families are first stopped by Customs and Border Patrol, with children taken into custody by HHS and adults detained through ICE.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Homeland Security released a joint a "fact sheet" released late Saturday that as of June 20, 2,053 separated minors were in their custody. Some children were still in the border patrol's custody when their parents finished criminal proceedings for crossing into the USA, the statement said, and those families were then transferred together to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to face deportation proceedings.

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Currently, 17 percent of minors in HHS funded facilities were placed there as a result of the Zero Tolerance enforcement effort, and the remaining 83 percent arrived in the United States without a parent or guardian, it said.

When children are transferred into custody, HHS receives information from DHS about how they entered the country and "to the extent possible" information about parents or guardians, according to the statement.

HHS also said in a release that it has a process to "ensure that family members know the location of their children and have regular communication after separation". Any details provided to parents in these calls will be sent to HHS, which along with ICE will review its data to locate children and verify the parent-child relationship. The rest entered the USA unaccompanied by a caregiver.

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