Originally Published in CNN
Priscilla Alvarez - April 7, 2021
Under former President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance"
immigration policy, border officials separated at least 2,800 children from their parents, according to government data. Officials later found at least 1,712 more children had been separated from their families before Trump's policy went into effect in May 2018.
"The records are inconsistent and incomplete. We've now identified, as I mentioned, over 5,600 new files that were not reviewed at that time," the official said, citing ongoing litigation that's required a scrub of files. "This is a manual process, manually going through each file looking for clues. It's our hope and expectation that this process will reveal only a few additional families, but it's important to look through them and make sure."
The files are mostly from January 20, 2017, until July 2017 and will be crosschecked with information in other government databases to confirm whether any of those included separations.
The effort stems from the family reunification task force set up by one of President Joe Biden's executive orders. The task force involves federal agencies to identify and reunite families
who had been separated at the US-Mexico border under the Trump administration. It's housed in the Department of Homeland Security.