January 17,2019

Press Contact:

Nicole L'Esperance (202) 224-4515

Wyden Demands Answers from CBP on Alarming HHS OIG Report Showing Thousands More Children Separated at Border

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today pressed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan for answers on child separation at the border following the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report showing that thousands of children were likely separated from their families prior to the Trump administration’s public announcement of its “zero tolerance policy” in April 2018.

“This administration’s cruelty knows no bounds. To learn that thousands more children were ripped away from the arms of their families than originally reported to the public is appalling,” Wyden said. “It’s unacceptable that the administration failed to keep track of these kids. Congress needs answers, and I’m demanding we get them.”

Wyden in a meeting with McAleenan asked CBP to provide answers to the following questions:

  • Since the beginning of 2017, how many children were separated from their families prior to the Trump administration instituting its “zero tolerance policy?”
  • During the same time frame, what were the cited reasons for separating children from their families?

McAleenan agreed to provide this information by close of business on Friday, January 18, 2019.