According to the inspector general, prior to implementation, DHS did not address the deficiencies recognized and documented in 2017 that could potentially hamper the ability to track separated families. (Free Press Photo: Hemeroteca PL)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimated in May 2018 that it would separate more than 26,000 small immigrants from their families in the wake of President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy, said the Office of the Inspector General of that entity this November 27.
In an internal report, the inspector explains that they decided to audit the effectiveness of DHS systems to track detainees and support efforts to reunify children with their parents.RELATED
DHS brings together several immigration agencies in the country, including the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) and the Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
"At the beginning of May 2018, the CBP provided the Office of Administration and Budget (OMB) with estimates that it would separate more than 26,000 between May and September 2018 due to‘ zero tolerance, "the document said.
The United States began in April 2018 its controversial “zero tolerance” strategy against immigration, suspended in June of that year due to the huge criticisms received.
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According to the inspector general, "prior to implementation, DHS did not address the deficiencies recognized and documented in 2017 that could potentially hamper the ability to track separated families."
Among the audit findings, the inspector noted that DHS did not possess the information technology systems necessary to track separated immigrant families during the "Zero Tolerance" execution.
"Due to these technological deficiencies, we were unable to confirm the total number of families separated by the DHS during the 'Zero Tolerance' period," the report added, noting that the entity estimated that Border Patrol agents separated 3 thousand. 14 children of their parents while that policy was in effect.
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Also, according to the internal analysis, the DHS estimated that 2 thousand 155 family reunifications were completed in response to a court order, and that that effort continued for seven more months after the July 2018 deadline to bring together the children with His parents.
Even in a review of the DHS databases during the term of the “Zero Tolerance” policy, 136 children were identified with possible family relationships that were not accurately registered by the CBP.
While in an inspection of the data between October 1, 2017 and February 14, 2019, they identified some 1,233 additional children that were not properly accounted for by the CBP.
“Although DHS invested thousands of hours and more than one million dollars in overtime costs, it did not achieve its original objective of preventing the (catch and release) policy through 'catch and release' Zero tolerance '”, he said.
The "catch and release" allows border agents to release the immigrants they catch with the idea that, if they do not pose a danger to US security, they can remain free while waiting for an immigration trial to examine their deportation.
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