The Justice Department’s watchdog says top Trump administration officials pushed for a 2018 immigration policy even though they knew it would lead to family separations.
“We concluded that the Department’s single-minded focus on increasing immigration prosecutions came at the expense of careful and appropriate consideration of the impact of family unit prosecutions and child separations,” the report states.
The report calls the attorney general’s office a “driving force” in the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy change. It called for all adults crossing the southern border unlawfully to be prosecuted, regardless of whether they had children.
The policy led to the separation of around 3,000 migrant families. Several hundred of those children remain apart from their parents today.
The report highlights what is wrong with the country’s immigration system, said Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director of the National Immigrant Justice Center.
“I think it affirms what we have seen the past four years, but also it just goes to the heart of what is wrong with our immigration system and how it has just been used over the past several decades to criminalize immigrants, immigrant families, and harm our communities and people who are seeking protection here in the United States,” McCarthy said.