January 21,2019

Press Contact:

Nicole L’Esperance (202) 224-4515

Wyden: CBP Confirms Trump Administration Separated Children Before “Zero Tolerance Policy,” Failed to Track Separations

After pressing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan on Thursday for a full accounting of the number of migrant children separated from their families at the border, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called the response by CBP alarming and insufficient. In a letter to Wyden, McAleenan confirms the Trump administration separated children from their families well before its “zero tolerance policy” was announced and that “separations were not consistently recorded in the U.S. Border Patrol systems of record.”

“This Orwellian response from Custom and Border Protection does not respond to the pressing questions about the fate of children and their parents. It fails to deliver the data necessary to understand what happened to these kids and their families,” Wyden said. “The response, however, does reveal the shameful culpability of Donald Trump’s administration, targeting children for separation and mistreatment contrary to American values of decency and well before this administration implemented its officially-announced program of abuse.”