When the current administration began allowing officials to separate immigrant children from their families back in early 2018, it caused an uproar. People could not believe that young kids were being taken away from their parents.
However, what many people don’t know is that officials were allegedly already doing this for roughly a year before the official policy went into place. A new report, which does not give specific numbers, says that parents saw thousands of children taken away from them.
This is important because it shows that the public outcry may not even have considered the full scope of this issue. It was happening to far more children behind the scenes, and no one seems to know exactly how many were taken.
One official shed some light on the issue recently, saying:
“OIG (the Office of the Inspector General) found more children over a longer period of time were separated by immigration authorities and referred to HHS (the Department of Health and Human Services) for care than is commonly discussed in public debate. How many more children were separated is unknown by us and HHS.”
When the news broke last year, there was plenty of concern about reuniting all of these children with their families if the policy was abandoned. This report could show that the process will be even harder than anyone knew. If the government does not know exactly how many kids were taken, it’s hard to imagine that they have complete records to send every child back to his or her parents.
When reports like this come out, it really shows why it is so important for those being detained to know all of the rights and legal options they have.