US separates 2,000 children from parents

Washington, June 16: The US government has separated at least 2,000 children from parents at the Mexico border since implementing a policy that results in such family separations, the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) has confirmed. From April 19 through May 31 of this year, 1,995 minors travelling with 1,940 adults who said they were the children’s guardians were separated due to the policy, CNN quoted DHS spokesman Jonathan Hoffman as saying on Friday. According to Hoffman, the call was largely to defend the administration’s decision to charge every adult caught crossing the border illegally with federal crimes, as opposed to referring those with children mainly to immigration courts, as previous administrations did. Because the government is charging the parents in the criminal justice system, children are separated from them, with no clear procedure for their reunification aside from hotlines the parents can call to try to track their children down. The policy to refer all adults for charges was publicly announced on May 7, though the Justice Department announced it would prosecute 100 per cent of the cases referred to it at the beginning of April. (IANS)