STATEMENT: This Administration’s Officials Must Be Held Accountable for Separating Thousands of Kids From Their Parents, CAP’s Neera Tanden Says

Washington, D.C. — A new report released last night revealed that at least 545 children are still separated from their parents as a consequence of the family separation program first piloted by the Trump administration in 2017; one year later, the administration expanded the program to separate thousands of additional children. According to a court filing from the American Civil Liberties Union, two-thirds of the parents whose children were taken in the 2017 pilot program were deported to Central America without their children.

Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The separation of thousands of children from their parents at the border during the first two years of this administration—the cries we heard from kids mocked in Border Patrol cages—remain seared in the hearts and minds of all Americans. Child health experts tell us that the damage done to these kids will last a lifetime.

But last night, we learned that for 545 children taken from their parents more than three years ago—and perhaps more kids taken the following year after the Trump administration expanded its family separation policy—the nightmare of separation continues to today and may in fact be permanent. That our government would perpetrate this cruelty on children is an act that should shame us all.

When lawlessness is allowed to take place—frequently in plain sight—without anyone being held accountable, it undermines the rule of law and invites still more abuses. All those involved should be held accountable.

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