17:02 GMT26 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Close to 2,000 immigrant children were separated from their parents during apprehensions from April 19 through May 31 for illegal entry into the United States, a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official said in a conference call on Friday.

    "From April 19, 2018 through May 31, 2018 1,995 minors traveling with an alleged adult guardian were traveling with 1,940 adults, and they are being held by the border patrol," the official told reporters.

    The DHS official confirmed that the parents were separated from their children because of prosecution.

    The average rate is 47 children separated from their parents per day during the six week period. The number is a substantial increase from that reported from October 2016 to February.

    The New York Post reported on June 8 that about 1,800 children were separated from their parents during the 17-month period, which is an average of three children separated from their parents per day.

    On May 7, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward anyone attempting to cross US borders illegally, including taking children away from parents who are being prosecuted.

    According to Department of Health and Human Services, the DHS transfers unaccompanied alien children (UAC) to facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, where they are provided with health care and classroom education. The Office of Refugee Resettlement is also responsible for placing unaccompanied children with qualified sponsors and family members.

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    Tags:
    immigrants, parents, children, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States
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