Central America Migrant Caravan

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. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)


By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has separated 81 migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border since the June executive order by the president that stopped the general practice.

That’s according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.

Immigration officials are allowed to separate a child from a parent in certain cases, including egregious criminal charges against a parent and concerns over the health and welfare of a child. Those reasons were in place before the zero-tolerance policy that prompted separations over the summer.

At the height of separations over the summer, more than 2,400 children were removed from their parents after they crossed the border illegally.

Immigrant rights groups say parents are being falsely labeled as criminals. Immigration officials say family separations are rare.

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81 Migrant Children Separated From Parents Since June