Family Separations at Border Down, but Dozens Still Affected

Family Separations at Border Down, but Dozens Still Affected

Migrants traveling with children walk up a hill to a waiting U.S. Border Patrol agent just inside San Ysidro, Calif., after climbing over the border wall from Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Thousands of Central American migrants who traveled with recent caravans want to seek asylum in the United States but face a decision between crossing illegally or waiting months, because the U.S. government only processes a limited number of those cases a day at the San Ysidro border crossing.  [Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/AP]

Migrants traveling with children walk up a hill to a waiting U.S. Border Patrol agent just inside San Ysidro, Calif., after climbing over the border wall from Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Thousands of Central American migrants who traveled with recent caravans want to seek asylum in the United States but face a decision between crossing illegally or waiting months, because the U.S. government only processes a limited number of those cases a day at the San Ysidro border crossing. [Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/AP]

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration separated 81 migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border since the June executive order that stopped the general practice amid a crackdown on illegal crossings, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.

Despite the order and a federal judge’s later ruling, immigration officials are allowed to separate a child from a parent in certain cases — serious criminal charges against a parent, concerns over the health and welfare of a child or medical concerns. Those caveats were in place before the zero-tolerance policy that prompted the earlier separations at the border.

The government decides whether a child fits into the areas of concern, worrying advocates of the families and immigrant rights groups that are afraid parents are being falsely labeled as criminals.

Colleen Long, writing for the Associated Press, shares the news that “zero-tolerance” family separations have slowed, but have not ceased.

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