The Lost Children of the Trump Administration

Why can’t the government account for how many children it separated from their parents at the border?

Comments: 181

  1. For years, Republicans have been arguing that government doesn't work. With Trump, they are setting about proving it.

  2. @jim morrissette Destroying the government is the Republican's stated goal. Remember Steve Bannon's vow to dismantle the "administrative state"? From appointing corrupt, kleptocratic incompetents to head every agency (or just leaving posts empty), to now heaping scorn and derision on our public workers for not enjoying their "free vacation" and not having savings (so now it's not just the working poor, the snap recipients, those receiving disability -- federal workers as a whole are called parasites, leeches, losers, who should just shut up and dribble). The Republicans since Reagan have been trying to enact Grover Nordquist's injunction to "shrink government so small it can be drown it in a bathtub." Yes, that's what the unelected man to whom every elected Republican swears an oath actually says. Nice way with words. Only now, we're the ones being held down and strangled.

  3. That is the goal.

  4. The Trump administration is determined to use the census to count how many of us are US citizens. But it can't be bothered to figure out how many children are detained at the border. Certainly says a lot about his priorities.

  5. No priorities, no principles, no policies - just a devious husk of a man looking for his next prey.

  6. Thank you for finally speaking out. And i urge you to go further, mainstream print and television media have been remiss in balancing articles and coverage of the migrants on the border in Mexico and the constitutional violations that are occuring daily. I don't need to see President Trumps name as the caption of so many articles. Perhaps you will be influenced by the waning support for his actions - as noted in a survey of suburban white women who overwhelming oppose his actions.

  7. To not be reporting and keeping records of the separations completely so families can be reunited quickly, and the absence of an integrated data system when there are 60 databases to identify indicators of possible separation, for border agents to need more personnel and modern equipment, radios in rural areas, training to help these families with small children seeking asylum. The complete dysfunction to handle the humanitarian crisis at our southern border is unacceptable, for the president to be so uncaring, in the government's response to the chaos.

  8. Good grief!! Surely this question answers itself! Nobody in the White House, or the Dept of Homeland Security , or DHHS, or really any executive branch agency cares a hoot! They care only about what Trump might tweet about them. Scaredy-cat, one and all!! As for the GOP Senate, it is completely inexplicable why so many are utterly uncaring about children, or probably with the exception of their own. Absolutely immoral stance about anybody’s else’s children. How do these people face themselves in the mirror every day?

  9. History will not be kind to Trump and his minions. And they deserve every harsh word.

  10. @KB Trump cares not a whit for history. In his mind, the world will end when he dies.

  11. Sorry to find this article is so short, lacking any official response from government reps, etcetera. Does anyone do investigative reporting anymore as this is certainly worthy of it. It would be nice if NYT followed up on this issue in depth. I'm afraid this may be the tip of the iceberg on this issue.

  12. Editorials don’t ask for comment from officials; they respond to multiple articles that journalists have done due diligence on. You can read these other articles and skip editorials if you don’t want to reflect.

  13. Trump’s Zero-Tolerance policy is unspeakably inhumane. Worse yet, he’s following the same pattern of ethnic cleansing our Native American ancestors suffered throughout the 19th and 20th centuries: children ripped from their families and thrown into re-education centers where they were denied their names, their language and their heritage.

  14. The error was in not putting them on a bus immediately and sending them back to where they came from. Perhaps, next time.

  15. Are you aware that the USA has an actual asylum policy and protocol to follow?

  16. Because they do not want to own up, even to themselves, how immoral they have been!! Understandable: most Americans would be averse to such behavior. Question: who are those who think this is the way Americans actually want to behave or be remembered?

  17. President Trump doesn't need a wall, or a heart. He needs a trial. And so do all of his accomplices. What part of genocide do you not recognize, American people? Children -- the most vulnerable among us -- being victimized and terrorized, abused, neglected, and dying in custody. No, don't turn away with a smirk on your face, don't cover your ears. What I am saying is not the problem. What they are doing is the problem. How far along this list do you think we are now? The eight stages of genocide: 1. Classification Classification refers to a division of the population into racial, religious and ethnic divisions. 2. Symbolization Symbolization refers to labeling the classified group. 3. Dehumanization Dehumanization is a process by which a particular group is marked as sub-human. 4. Organization Organization refers to the planning of action, as genocide requires both collective action and group identification. 5. Polarization In the polarization stage, groups are further driven apart by extremists. 6. Preparation In preparation, further planning takes place. For instance, “death lists” are created or people are segregated into camps. 7. Extermination The extermination stage is genocide. 8. Denial

  18. Part of the reason we're so split as a country is the constant mischaracterization of who these people are. They aren't immigrants; they are asylum seekers fleeing violence. Let's not conflate the two.

  19. @Sam I Am People seeking asylum have a legal right to do so, a right they have been been kept from accessing. International treaties and US law allow any human being to see asylum. But Trump and Trumpists don't care about anything but their racist, inhumane policies. They are all morally deficient and unfit to serve.

  20. So what part of the last administration's actions in separating families is still lingering?

  21. @Mr. Slater none, Mr. Slater, none that is the nonsense being spewed by the sources you are reading and apparently believing; neither Obama nor Bush had policies resembling this one. Check your facts!

  22. President Trump and his Secretary of HHS have in essence been responsible for the kidnapping of these children from their families. It seems to me that the FBI has searched out and helped prrosecute other kidnappers. What about prosecuting the government of the United States since they have been complicit in this crime. Bruce Rozenblit is right. Those pesky Bibilical rules get in the way of the religion espoused by the Republicans.

  23. Losing count of separated family members is a passive aggressive attack that reveals the inhumanity of its perpetrators.

  24. "callousness, if not deliberate cruelty" It's deliberate cruelty. Worse, it seems to be exactly what many Trump voters want. I wish them all a healthy dose of introspection.

  25. @M. I wish them all shipped to the Hague for trial.

  26. The government can't account for these children because they don't care about them. The government can't account for these children because carefully selected agents of hate have been doing the dirty work of Jim Crow. The government can't account for these children because our government is in the hands of cronies - not civil servants. The government can't account for these children because our Jim Crow government has turned over the handling of many of these children to mercenaries like the Prince family, (Betsy DeVos' brother) who have ownership in an outfit that places children in foster families. The government can't account for these children because as it was putting new policies in place it was also shrinking the very agencies it tasked with the job of implementing white supremacist policy. The government, it will turn out, will not be able to account for a lot of things by the time all is said and done. Again, I call on the New York Times, Washington Post and other large newspapers to pool resources together and make available to the public an online spreadsheet of all of the things Trump Did While We Weren't Looking. We need a reference for 2021 when a Democrat has the awesome responsibility of putting Humpty back together (if even possible). Our government can't account for these little souls because its mission is destruction - not governance. --- Things Trump Did While You Weren’t Looking [2019] https://wp.me/p2KJ3H-3h2

  27. @Rima Regas Brava Rima! I completely agree.

  28. @Rima Regas Reporters need to follow up on the children put in foster care, namely are they in fundamentalist rightwing Christian families where they will be indoctrinated, ill-educated, and 'disappeared' into the fundy-genical underground. These children have been kidnapped, deliberately taken from their parents to be converted to a machinery, much as has been done for Native American children for at least 150 years, so that they conform and are made to forget about their parents, their country of origin, and their culture.

  29. @Tulipano That's exactly what is going on now. Pro-Publica has a report with other news organizations about it. See in the October 9 entry: AP Investigation: Deported parents may lose kids to adoption "It had been 10 weeks since Ramos had last held her 2-year-old, Alexa. Ten weeks since she was arrested crossing the border into Texas and U.S. immigration authorities seized her daughter and told her she would never see the girl again. What followed — one foster family’s initially successful attempt to win full custody of Alexa — reveals what could happen to some of the infants, children and teens taken from their families at the border under a Trump administration policy earlier this year. The “zero-tolerance” crackdown ended in June, but hundreds of children remain in detention, shelters or foster care and U.S. officials say more than 200 are not eligible for reunification or release." https://www.rimaregas.com/2018/08/07/greed-malfeasance-never-sleep-blog42s-things-trump-did-while-you-werent-looking-august-december-2018/9/

  30. I call on the United Nations to step forward and help the citizenry of the United States end these crimes. When the highest strata of any government is unaccountable, it is necessary that others step in. Please open an investigation into this. Thank you.

  31. @rosa. What crimes are you talking about? The illegals storming the border?

  32. The current GOP leaders are completely unable to reflect upon the effects of their actions. We've seen a blitzkrieg of Trump actions for two years, so severe is the ongoing onslaught of tweets and policy actions, it's hard to keep up with. Couple this with the complete lack of any ethical foundation to this presidency and the GOP these days and you have a human disaster like this, one which may be the first of many unless he is stopped -- now.

  33. The editorial is correct in that what is happening is a tragedy. But it is wrong to blame the administration. The real problem is that, as the editorial indicates, far more asylum seekers are trying to enter than was previously the case, and we do not have the infrastructure to safely manage them. It seems that many of the asylum seekers are really economic migrants, and they are deliberately bringing their children, at great risk to the children, in hopes of using them as a lever to gain entrance to this country. One cannot entirely blame the migrants for what they are doing; conditions in their home countries are bad, and this country is far wealthier. These people deserve our sympathy, but the reality is they are abusing our asylum law, and there are far more of them than we can accommodate. There are many unmet social needs here in the US, and though our resources are great, they only go so far. I can't offer a humane solution, but I do believe the Times is wrong to blame this on the Trump administration, which inherited the problem. There are 8 billion people in the world . This is the crux of the problem. A substantial majority would be happy to come here, given the opportunity. We face a cruel reality when it comes to immigration; similar to Europe.

  34. @Alex If your analysis is correct, then the 6 billion $ Trump wants for his campaign stunt would be better spent on infrastructure for humanitarian dealing with immigrant families. Agreed?

  35. @Alex, it's true, we don't CURRENTLY have the infrastructure to safely manage so many asylum seekers. But we could. Instead of wasting money on a wall, why not spend it in pursuit of hasty hearings for asylum seekers. We need more judges at the border, not more barriers.

  36. @Alex Stereotyping asylum seeker's as migrant's coming for economic reason's is a dis service. Each case needs to be heard as an individual, not a stereotype, and judged accordingly. Who said we don't have the infrastructure to treat people humanely? Please put on a true asylum seeker's shoes and ask yourself if you wouldn't want to be seen and heard as an individual.

  37. No doubt many seeking asylum came to our border hoping for a much better life for their child/children. I cannot imagine the hardship involved with their journey to the U.S. border. The dream of a better, safer life clearly inspired and kept them coming to our border, Parents and children survived their journey only to be separated. And it sounds like some may be permanently separated because our government has failed to keep the necessary records to reunite parents and children. I cannot imagine the grief of losing my child -the child I hoped to provide a better life. The very nation these families came to for a better life have been treated with irresponsible hostility. The separations have been unfair, wrong, outrageous, intolerable. As a nation we have a responsibility to do everything possible to reunite families. Thank you for keeping this tragic behavior at our border before us.

  38. @Rev Wayne. No, the responsibility lies with the parents,

  39. This is obviously an unacceptable situation, but who knows for sure if the outcomes are because of volume of arrivals are spiking, bureaucracy, not enough resources, deliberate deterrence, or all of the above. Assuming the separation and treatment issues are resolved because of increased scrutiny, at best around 10% or so might get past the first level of screening to potentially be let in and be given asylum. I haven't heard anyone looking ahead to what happens to the rest of the caravan or don't we care after the TV satellite trucks have moved on and the paperwork is nice and legal. This problem is even larger than the US with all of its resources can deal with, the solutions are going to have to come from a lot of nations working together, and despite their do nothing culture, this should be being dealt with at the UN. If they can't start helping the world's most vulnerable citizens, time to start whittling down public and private contributions.

  40. The UN needs permission from USA to intervene within its national borders. If it has to intervene outside of those borders, it still needs the agreement of the states concerned.It is not a 'do nothing', it has to be given the mandate to act, then it will act.

  41. @Kevin The poor handling of the so called illegal immigrants is voluntary. Germany can handle ONE MILLION refugees in a year and the US can not deal with 300K? It can but Trump and his enablers are wilfully sabotaging the aid efforts.

  42. @rosalba This issue is larger than just our borders, a good deal of first world countries whether they planted the seeds of the situation or not are having similar experiences to ours i don't see any single country that has developed an equitable fair answer for what has become a worldwide daily situation. The only vehicle we have to address these issues worldwide is the UN and it is a real mixed bag. Frequently they are a do nothing organization. They have had episodes of UN Peacekeepers allowing the most threatened to be killed, in many instances don't hang around when the environment gets dangerous while other organizations like Doctors Without Borders stay, not to mention they have had more than their share of corruption and their performance in places like Haiti has not been stellar. On the other hand, UNICEF has done some good work and sometimes diplomatic efforts there do deliver solutions. My point was even if uninvited, they need to use the bully pulpit and vocally propose any solutions that might look plausible. Has anyone seen a lot of that showing up in our media lately?

  43. Has anybody asked: Who is getting rich over this? Who owns the detention centers and how much are they being paid? Are these the unaccountable corporations then to be hired to build a fence?

  44. Don't you know that you can't ask those probing questions? Besides, if that information became available it would not be the juicy stuff that makes news as we know it.

  45. @Rachel Hoffman According to Lindsay Graham a couple of Sunday’s ago the government is spending $750 a day per child. It would be cheaper to put them in Trump hotels.

  46. @Rachel Hoffman “Are these the unaccountable corporations then to be hired to build a fence?” Yes they are! Just like the US Prison industry is not accountable as well.

  47. Anyone who fails to decry the evil of Trump and his vicious mis-administration -- abuser of countless hundreds of migrant children, their mothers and fathers -- becomes an agent of that evil.

  48. We are often told how Trump always lies about government matters. Here the government was mistaken and admitted its mistake. The media is often telling us of the need to fact check. Here, it should admit that the government appears to have acted in good faith and it should be credited for that.

  49. @michjas I agree, but in the same way that we need to give credit (such as a return of voting rights) to those who have committed crimes, were found guilty, were stripped of their voting rights, and have paid their debt to society. I give credit to the ones dealing with the situation on the ground, just not to the designers and engineers of that situation.

  50. The administration admitted its mistake only because it could not satisfy a court order.

  51. @michjas the government acted in good faith? Where do you get this? How can you (I mean Mr. Jeff Sessions) order to throw a child’s parents in jail for arbitrary reasons, knowing there are not enough shelters to send the kids to? It is a crime against humanity and the responsible politicians ought to be brought to justice.

  52. Since these are Trump's policies which may be considered crimes against humanity, it is possible that he be charged for these crimes and brought to trial?

  53. @Nancy Eichler I have wondered if he couldn't be brought before the World Court for his treatment of immigrants?

  54. @kay o. I'm pretty sure the answer is No, because the United States doesn't recognize the World Court. The US didn't sign that treaty, among several others, out of concern that our military would be held to account by laws outside our own making.

  55. @Nancy Eichler the sooner the better.

  56. The Stolen and Lost Children will be added to the dark pages of our history along with slavery, Jim Crow, the Japanese interment, the genocide of Native Americans, and others I'm willfully trying not to bring to mind at one in the morning. Generations from now people will ask how such a terrible thing could have been done, to innocent children! My god, what have we become?! Most of the children will survive. Many will tell heart-wrenching and heart-breaking stories. But there will also be stories of profound human strength and spirit and dignity emerging in spite of what can only be described as willful crimes against humanity. How will we atone for this horror visited upon weak, innocent people. Children!

  57. We should not let the others in the administration off the hook. This is not just Trump. Sessions implemented the policy. Homeland Security carried it out. HHS can't find or identify those entrusted to their care. All of Trumps cronies are just as guilty.

  58. @wfisher1But trump is at the top and he had the power to stop it. He didn't and so he bears the responsibility.

  59. Were I a recruiter for ISIS or other adversaries of the United States I would regard this situation as a total gift. This is not incompetence, this is not dysfunction. I would argue the United States government is complicit in sex trafficking and providing chidren to organ trafficking. Dozens, hundreds, even thousands of children may have been channeled to cruel deaths or a dismal existence thanks to Homeland Security's participation in a criminal enterprise. Now most readers will regard this as nonsense but we have no way to prove it is false. If we see headlines in foreign newspapers or hear broadcasts on foreign media denouncing the US government for trafficking detained children how do we demonstrate those are lies? Of course we deny this is happening but where are the children. With so many disappeared what happens if at some point in the future we think we know where 90 percent are.....what about a missing 10 percent that could total hundreds of children in the hands of pornographers, abusers, or killers? The sloppy incompetence is one problem but here we have the authority of the United States government possibly used to cover up sexual perversion on a massive scale. We know there have been assertions background checks on child custodial personnel were skipped or truncated. An error or to facilitate trafficking? No matter what Americans believe our adversaries have been handed an extraordinary opportunity to damage our credibility thanks to these perverted villains.

  60. @usa999 This is organized crime. It is Trump's default setting. The men and the women who do the hard work of organized crime do what they're told, too. Trump did not cook his burgers. An adolescent did. They are told very clearly that if they want to participate in the society, flip'em. We regard our jobs as sacred. Most primates do.

  61. @usa999 you don’t understand how recruiters for ISIS work or what ISIS is, for that matter. ISIS forces girls as young as nine into sexual slavery. Do you think they’ll be fazed by separated kids? The allure of ISIS is the promise of an Islamist state, not critique of American democracy. And maybe the parents of these kids should have thought about the dangers of trafficking before taking them on a long march.

  62. I call it kidnapping.

  63. @David B. Benson...Agreed ..kidnapping for the purpose of forced adoptions !! Who adopted these children?? The worst of it is that the administration seems to have gotten away with it to a degree!

  64. why should the government be accountable for these kids, Their parents dragged them all this way,it is up to the parents to be accountable. PUT the blame where it belongs, ON THE PARENTS.

  65. The government is responsible for these children because it has separated them from their families. These are children we are talking about some so young they can't take care of themselves. Where is the common sense and compassion from the government?? In what way is this policy acceptable??

  66. Blame does not solve the problem of putting innocent children in dire danger. What happened to Universal Declaration of Child Rights? Children are vulnerable and defenceless, this is not a matter of blame game!

  67. @b.fynn I am sure the parents did not want their children separated from them. It was the willful policy of the border patrol to physically separate parent from child and failing to even bother to account for their whereabouts so they could be reconnected that led to this outrageous mess.

  68. It is not accurate to say the computers can’t track the children. They easily can with existing software or programming. The issue is with the computers users.

  69. This administration is guilty of one of the most heinous crimes ever committed by a democracy. This was no accident, but rather a calculated act of merciless inhumanity designed to create maximum suffering for families already traumatized by the forced exodus from their homelands. It does not at all matter why this was done. There can never be a justification for such brutality. This should be considered a war crime, but I assume as there is not technically a conflict between the U.S. and these countries, it cannot be so prosecuted. However, I strongly believe that Mr. Trump, Secretary Nielsen and those responsible for creating and instituting this atrocity be referred to the Court of Human Rights in the Hague and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

  70. @kevo It is difficult for me to understand why Trump and Nielsen haven't be charged with child neglect and endangerment. Once the government takes charge of a child it is responsible for his/her care. There are laws regarding institutional abuse in every state. Why haven't they been applied?

  71. If our own elected officials continue to overlook these atrocities, then I beg the International Community to step forward and apply whatever pressure is possible. The new Democratic House of Representatives better get their act together and put forth some legislation stopping this practice and issuing a proclamation condemning this activity in the harshest terms possible This same attitude on the part of the Trump Administration, I include all of the Republicans in Congress as part of the Trump cabinet, is why we have 800,000 government employees out of work or working for free. Off subject, but I believe Trump's claim most of the displaced workers are Democrats is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  72. In ten years time, these lost children will have had no education or healthcare and will become the problem for future administrations as the "lost adults of the Trump administration". They will have been denied an education, rich language, an upbringing and love, and presumably will be deported back to the home country at 18, or just kicked back into Mexico? Is anyone teaching the little ones how to read and write? It is the cruellest policy imaginable to separate families and people simply wanting to flee persecution in search of a better life. Instead of a huge amount of money for a wall, what about temporary asylum schooling, more judges and hardware to process cases faster? Surely we want to get these children repatriated as soon as possible? Right now, as these children have no hope, nothing in the world and Trump has such unimaginable wealth, I find the paradox blisteringly unconscionable. If this is Republicanism, it is abhorrent. Melania may have worn the jacket, "I really don't care, do you?" to grab some headlines on her visit, but in truth, it achieved little traction. The separation and incarceration of immigrant children is a total abuse of Human Rights, at odds with the lovely lady who proclaims herself, the Statue of Liberty. She used to stand for something patriotic for all Americans. Now I give her a wry smile, with a "yeah right" aside, under my breath. Some liberty.

  73. This isn't about how we feel about immigration or how we are ultimately going to "fix" it. It isn't about whether parents are right or wrong to risk the journey to the border. (I don’t have children but know what it’s like to love fiercely. It’s a fearsome thing to want to save the ones we love, and I would do whatever it took.) This is about how we treat the children. There is no excuse for cruelty.

  74. You ask "Why can’t the government account for how many children it separated from their parents at the border?" The answer is simple. Trump's government intended that those children should be 'lost'. It was a deliberate feature of their policy, done with the intent of creating fear, anguish, and actual harm to the children in order to use this fear as a deterrent to those legally seeking to apply for asylum. This tells you all you need to know about the moral vacuum that is the Trump administration.

  75. Mr. Trump does not only need a heart. He needs a brain. From the time of Benjamin Franklin--"an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"--we have known how much cheaper it is to prevent a problem than to delay addressing it. We teach our teenagers in many ways, often most effectively by repeatingly asking them the question "...and then what would happen?" as a way to show linkage between choices and outcomes. Surely, any adult in the Dept of Homeland Security could understand nothing good comes from separating children from their support systems. Any adult could also understand the negative costs associated with "metering" asylum seekers at ports of entry. Desperate people having already chosen to leave the only home they have known would choose the open if dangerous desert over a closed if tantalizingly named port of "entry". And they could have foreseen deaths from privation and immense costs even if in terms of public relations alone. Mr. Trump is the petulant teenager unable to answer the "...and then what would happen?" query about his wall. Having put his chips on a medieval solution, he cannot understand ladders, tunnels, court challenges, drones to carry contraband or even physical construction barriers inherent in his simplistic "solution". And the secondary costs to animal migration and sovereign rites of native populations on both sides of our southern border, for example, are nowhere on his radar.

  76. Yet another editorial highlighting the fact that our nation is led by a deranged dictator. Sixty per cent of us already know this and knew it when he was "elected". Perhaps editorials such as these make us feel a bit better, if for no other reason than to remind ourselves that none of this is normal. But any decent person should be sickened at what Trump has done to these thousands of children. Here is what needs to be written, though: the column calling out Trump voters - you know, the 40% of the nation's citizens who claim to believe every one of Trump's lies? Because they are to blame for the sorry state of our nation - not Trump, a clearly mentally ill man, and not the Republican Senate, who are all terrified of Trump's base. It is way past time for the rest of us to call out Trump voters. There is no amount of "reaching out" to people who insist on remaining willfully ignorant, so long as their dear leader tells them that as whites, they are the favored Americans. Because this is what the wall, and their continued support for Trump is all about - bigotry. And Trump knows, and Republican Senators fear, that his racist, heavily armed base will do literally anything for him, including taking up arms against the rest of us. It is way past time for the gloves to come off when describing Trump voters. Last week the Times quoted one of his supporters saying "He's not hurting the people he's supposed to be hurting." Well, it's time they felt a little pain for a change.

  77. I think Alex has more common sense than the editors or commenters that think we have an unlimited supply of resources in his country. When we reach the breaking point it will be too late. We have to stop the inflow now. Easy to understand if you think logically.

  78. There is no humanitarian crisis at the border. There is a crisis of migrants trying to force their way into the country under false claims of asylum.

  79. @QED In the law, the custom is to hear evidence before rendering judgment. Can the writer who so blithely asserts that the claims are false cite even one actual case? For that matter, QED is descended from immigrants or (gasp) may even be an immigrant! Can QED demonstrate entitlement to be here? The Latin QED stands for “thus it is demonstrated.” Perhaps the writer should change identification to something meaning “thus it is asserted without evidence.” What’s demonstrated is QED’s willful ignorance.

  80. Callousness is too soft a term for this inhumanity that will scar children and relatives inside and outside the USA for generations.

  81. We need Congressional hearings on the zero tolerance policy now. Nothing is more urgent than ending this outrage, reuniting ALL of the families, and bringing the perpetrators to justice. We need to know who has profited from this policy. If members of the administration or their families have made money from this crime, we need them tarred and feathered.

  82. This separation of children has parallels to the Japanese American internment, a blight on our country. FDR may have been able to rationalize his egregious order because he couldn't tell the good guys from the bad guys in a time of war. But all of these children are obviously children. The decision made to intern these children into cages (to punish their already traumatized parents who are fleeing horrendous conditions) is a worse blight. They, as were the Japanese Americans, innocent in all of this, but they don't have the comfort, love or security that their families could provide and they have no one to explain to them why or to reassure them that at some point they will be released and reunited with their families. DHS can't assure anyone these children will ever be back with their families. If I were the judge on this case, someone would be in jail for contempt. Outrageous.

  83. Every adult reading this, and everyone having contact with immigrant children needs to contemplate how it would be for them if their local hospital failed to properly document which newborns belong with which parents, loss track of their newborn baby's whereabouts and sent them home without their baby, promising the parents they'd find and provide good care for their baby and reunite them immediately upon locating the newborn -- only to then drop the case, let it slip to the back pile, or say they don't have the resources or permission to follow through. Let that sink in. Deep. Then try to imagine what your 2 or 4 or 11 year-old self would have felt and had on his/her mind and heart if you were separated from your primary parent or caregiver against your will, against your parent's will and with no information about where you or they are, why they left, when you will reunited or what will happen in the meantime. Oh, and you're in a foreign country, don't speak or understand the language, have no interaction with children your age from that country, have to live in a tent or a building without windows, have little or no opportunity to communicate with your missing parent etc. Now consider how your 1 year old, 3 y.o., 5 or 8 year-old child or niece would respond if in that situation. How can you do this to these little kids? Or even to the teenagers? How can you look at yourself in the mirror or look your babies in the eye? Shame on us all.

  84. Disgraceful, immoral, shameful. Who are we as a nation that we are allowing this to continue?

  85. Unfortunately, as horrific as this story is, it is not surprising because of what we as a nation have witnessed for two years from this administration. The bigotry and cruelty of this band of deplorable defines and motivates everything they do. Although Trump's own shameless bigotry has been well on display to those of us who grew up with his amorality, (see "the Central Park Five," for documentation) what is particularly shocking is the large number of people in the Trump sphere who are so willing to enable and in fact, facilitate this man's cruelty. Explain to Trump supporters what threat these children pose to American security.

  86. The foundation of Trump's republican party is cruelty, plain and simple. Cruelty to anyone not white. Cruelty to anyone who can't help them 'make America white again.' This premise isn't sustainable, and is, in fact, on its last legs. Many, many people are being hurt right now unnecessarily. But in the last two elections, a majority of Americans want no part of Trump, his republican party, his wall, or his gratuitous cruelty. It's time to clean house.

  87. There are over 500 days since August 2017, when Homeland Security and Health & Human Services Officials began the policy of Trump administration child kidnappings. Now we hear that thousands of pre-meditated kidnappings have removed children of all ages from the comfort and safety of their families. Babies and toddlers have been ripped from their mothers arms, apparently without records so we don't know the extent of the horror! We have recently been shocked by the 88 days 13 year old Jamie Closs suffered after being kidnapped by a madman. What if the parents seeking asylum were deported back to areas of gang control they were trying to escape, and they were killed while their children have been detained in US camps? Imagine the 4 year old child that has spent the last 500 days shuttled from camp to camp? Trump, Sessions, and Nielsen have committed a heinous crime, and should be tried for crimes against humanity. The amoral actions of Trump and his henchmen are beyond despicable and they must be held accountable.

  88. Because, simply, they do not care one bit. It's time we recognize the gross inhumanity of Individual-1's administration. One hopes there will be a serious criminal reckoning after he's tossed out of office.

  89. In so many cases, this administration's cruelty is mitigated by incompetence. But in this case, incompetence abetted cruelty.

  90. SEPARATING CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS IS AN ATROCITY. That being said, there is a much better way to match parents with lost children. Blood samples should be taken so that DNA can be used to do exact matches. There would still probably be some unmatched parents/children due to adoptions, but the vast majority would be correctly matched.

  91. @Mike They don’t know where to find the children to take a sample. They are lost.

  92. Let us hope that these poor children and their parents can be reunited and safely returned home.

  93. History will show this to be one of the greatest moral atrocities in US recent history. We are truly a nation without moral leadership. We got plenty of religion but no decency. Shame on US.

  94. It will be the heartless governing incompetence that this so-called administration will be remembered for most (what exactly are they really administering to except chaos?). Instead of recognizing a problem where the asylum system is proving inadequate and moving to ameliorate the situation by beefing up staff etc. they decided to abuse innocent children to make a racist political point. This callousness (and inability to come up with appropriate policy) is indicative to their burn-it-down mentality and it takes likes of Judge Sabraw to rein them in until their exit from power is insured. It will be the co-equal judicial and congressional branches of government that will see us through this mess if we can get through it at all. The strength of Constitutional institutions (peopled with a career civil service that respects this democracy rather than its current narcissistic pseudo-leader) is the bulwark erected by the founders upon which the wave of populist regression will break. Then we might be able to pick up the pieces after the disaster that is Trump..

  95. Totally unacceptable. Everyone responsible for this gross negligence needs to be held accountable in a court of law. It is outrageous that they would separate families and just beyond the pale that they would lose children so carelessly while they deported their parents thousands of miles away. There is just no excuse for the barbaric policy in the first place. From Trump, to Sessions, to Miller to Neilsen to everyone in between and those that carried out the illegal order, heads to need to roll.

  96. I often read the print version of the NYT and sometimes save sections to read later.Yesterday I read a section from back in June where Trump said he was stopping the separation of families because he did not like to see the children separated like that! The reality was that the public outcry and the court system verdicts sent him a strong message and he was compelled to change his policy. That will likely have to be the case with the Gov't workers! There was no valid reason for them to be furloughed ! Public outcry stopped the separations but there has been so much for the public to complain about regarding this administration that we have become backlogged with complaints just like the court system! The Trump administration needs to be held accountable for all this the same as they need to be held accountable for the Gov't shutdown Trump said he was proud to do! PROUD HE SAID!!! This inept administration needs to be held accountable for their mishandling of our Nation !! We have been bullied into submission and unfortunately we as a Nation have a lot in common with these lost children pushed around by a dysfunctional administration ! We as American Citizens,living in a Nation of supposedly United States have been taken hostage and separated from all that we have held dear and perhaps taken for granted most of our lives ! These children aren't the only lost Trump casualties !! All of us have been victims of his ideologies and some of us still find reason to endorse him?

  97. "President Trump doesn’t need a wall. He needs a heart." Let's face it: Trump doesn't have a heart, and he never will. We have waited two years hoping for for some glimmer of decency from him, and there has been none. He is incapable of acting in the best interests of any institution - including the United States, our democracy, and even our planet - or person other than himself. Show Trump a refugee fleeing his home country with his 8 year old child, and Trump sees a terrorist, murderer or rapist. The most powerful man on Earth operates from a make believe world driven by made up fears, fake news, and obsessive self-interest. He is unhinged. He will not change, and if he continues much longer he will destroy us all.

  98. This is why I look forward to living well past the point of caucasians being the minority in this country. That day can't come soon enough.

  99. “Why can’t the government account for how many children it separated from their parents at the border?” No analysis is needed. One sentence says it all: The heartless and soulless Trump administration, including its Congressional Republicans, do not care what happens to desperate brown-skinned refugees.

  100. Yes, the president needs a heart, but a transplant wouldn't do any good for the 3,000 kids and their families. The hearts would reject him because they wouldn't be able to get beyond his wall. Where has the outrage been? He kidnapped 3,000 innocent kids.

  101. Trump daily disgusts me. His cruel behavior reeks misery on everyone and he disrupts and destroys everything he touches. I sincerely hope to see him go to prison for a long time because of his destruction, theft, lies, and treatment of little children and innocent people.

  102. This shameless, horrible situation we have created goes way beyond censure. It is reminiscent of concentration camps. But the media is making money- good money reporting it. And all of these other "news worthy" miscarriages of justice, get reported three of four times a day, by a person who is also paid to mouth the words, looking into the camera. And we, the simple American people, paying to be able to log into our commercial, for-profit, ostensibly public sites, unknowingly giving up for sale information to whomever can profit from it, pay company EX for the privilege of logging in, pay for the information we receive, watch hours of commercial product promotion- another payment- in order to view the thirty minutes of chopped up programming, and then gladly tune to network news, paying again to be informed about what may be happening... And again we are told about these poor lost children. They make money telling us everything, showing us nothing. Now you go where they tell you what you want to hear. Again we a told about these poor caged children. And regardless of the outrage, of the disgust, somebody just made some money off of your emotional response. Basic news, public information, reports detailing the actions of our government, used to be free. Somebody has got to be making money off of everything. And this equation only illustrates the cold cynicism of our everyday, tuned in, paying for everything and nothing. Maybe you ought to call the Better Business Bureau.

  103. I would add at the end of the last sentence, “and a conscience.”

  104. This is a crime that need to be taken up by the International Criminal Court.

  105. So many lessons from history...and we ignore.

  106. Can they not use a camera to photograph a family applying for asylum? Why can’t Trump send someone with a brain to look at what is causing people to leave on foot and then deal with the root causes of family exodus?? Losing track of the kids sounds ridiculously incompetent and as you say, cruel. Which pretty much sounds like this bizarre administration.

  107. I cry for America. Shame on us. Separating families? Nothing worse.

  108. I’ll tell you who can keep track of the numbers— the private contractors who are billing us taxpayers for setting up the cages and tent cities to detain these children. They sure have no incentive to see the kids reunited with their parents. And they don’t care if the government does either. In fact, they profit from this policy. How utterly sickening.

  109. These children were not 'lost'. They were kidnapped by security forces of the United States. Stop soft-peddling their actions.

  110. "Why can’t the government account for how many children it separated from their parents at the border?" Simple. Because they don't care enough to keep count. Or, they've kept count and realize that they can't let the truth out.

  111. Incompetence of the Department of Homeland Security does not explain the tragic and extended separation of thousands of children from their parents. This crime was intentional. This human crisis was created by bureaucrats, border agents, jailers, law enforcement personnel and politicians who were eager to please their immediate bosses and national leaders in Washington. The moral rot starts at the top of the United States government with Donald Trump, Mike Pence and former Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. The scandalous depravity includes nationalist Senators and Congressmen, who have cheered on the Trump cruelty. Donald Trump even got the American military involved in inflicting injury on the children. Federal, state and local government employees along our borders have jumped on the Republican bandwagon and tried to curry favor with the Trump regime and with the nativist bigots in our society by inflicting lasting harm on mostly Hispanic families. The world now looks upon America very differently than it did before Donald Trump came to power, and it will take years for us to live down this blot on our national reputation. In the meantime, members of the Trump Administration brazenly continue to lie to the courts and to the public about their crimes against children.

  112. In the King James Version of the Bible the text of Matthew 7:12 reads:Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. It's the most basic of moral ideals. It's so bizarre that so many supposed Christians support this President who doesn't know the first thing about treating people the way he'd want to be treated.

  113. on top of the kidnapping, they violated a court order. Why is there no accountability here?

  114. Not being able to account for children. Of all the evil Trump and his administration have done, this is the one that makes me ashamed to be an American.

  115. My impression, from many decades observing across the 49th Parallel and from lengthy sojourns in the US as a housesitter, is that Americans are not very good at performing government functions. I'm sure you were in generations past, but since you elected a president who defined government as the problem and not the solution, your best and brightest have sought fulfillment in other fields. Like banking and health insurance. Oh, wait. You're not all that good at those things, either. As Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, "Never mind."

  116. Compared to its past actions such as its slave policies, or the dispossession of Native Americans and killing many of them, the U.S. government's separation of children is certainly not the worst it has done. So why are so many commenters shocked now? Don't they know about the U.S. government's nuclear bombing of children? Knowing that, what evil is it incapable of committing? The Editorial Board puts the blame for the separation of children on Trump's lack of heart, without questioning the U.S. government's legitimacy. But, aren't Trump's activities also those of the U.S. government? The Editorial Board avoids the i-word -- illegitimacy. What more does it have to do to innocent children before the Editorial Board is more comfortable with the i-word?

  117. I’ve been a Mother, a Teacher of young children, and a Clinical Psychologist. And every inch of me is horrified for these children! They arrived already traumatized. Which is why their parents left home and sought assylum. And as soon as they got here, there were traumatized again! Left in the care of “for profit” groups which often did no background checks before hiring “caregivers,” these children suffered the sudden loss of a parent and fell into poor conditions where health and mental health suffered. As “for profits” made money! This is a abuse of power. It is probably a crime against humanity. And those responsible should suffere the consequences under the law for harming these children. These innocent, vulnerable, already traumatized CHILDREN. This is a shame, because there was no need or excuse for this reprehensible policy, carried out without plan or forethought or concern for the small, vulnerable human beings upon whom they vented their cruel ripping of children from parents - for what seems an eternity to child.

  118. Yes it goes far beyond incompetence. This is malevolence. And when the evil doers had taken the children, they often kept no record of how to re-unite the kids with their family.

  119. Separating children from their parents is nothing new to students of world history who have witnessed and understood the machinations and depredations of totalitarian regimes from time immemorial. No surprise that this separation is occuring on our southern border with Mexico on president Donald Trump's watch. We are sickened by the inhumane separations of innocents from their parents -- ordained by Trump to prove that our border must have his demented wall to keep in nationalists and isolationists and to keep out deserving and worthy human beings who seek only a better life in America. We were all immigrants to this country (even the earliest natives who crossed east from Asia into our hemisphere across the land bridge of what is today the Bering Sea. Like the migrant "caravans" today from El Sud, denigrated by Trump, as murderers, rapists, drug- and people-traffickers. Legal challenges to his authority and presidency await president Trump. The unfortunate migrants and their lost children waiting at our gates are not barbarians. They are worthy of our sympathy, not our president's scorn and cruelty.

  120. This separation "policy" appears to me to constitute a human rights violation of unspeakable terms by men and women in the Trump administration who possess no sense of humanity. I am nearly certain that the vast majority of these migrant families are Catholic Christians. Where are the voices from the self-righteous Christians in the Republican "party"? Such abuse cannot be tolerated, and particularly by a man without a soul.

  121. The complicit GOP are not "pro life" or "pro family." These kids are their responsibility as followers of Trump! What anger and hatred will they grow up with?

  122. Decades from now, stories about what became of some of these children will emerge, and these stories will form a narrative of national horror snd shame. This tragedy is even worse than the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. At least in that situation families wete accounted for and kept together.

  123. This is simply horrendous - a crime against humanity.

  124. "In a report released in October, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general found its computers had been unable to track family members who had been separated." So, if the computers do not work, which defies belief, then what good is "border security" at all? And if we take this further, what if the computers at the Pentagon didn't work? Or those at Justice? Or those at...This smacks of "Russian interference" in spades. Vladimir Putin is destabilizing the Western Hemisphere, right under Donald Trump's nose. And, meanwhile, untold thousands of children have been traumatized for life--whether they are reunited with their families or not--or if they're still living--because a corrupt and callous and careless administration wanted to score political points with 35% to 40% of the voting public. It is to be hoped that American parents are warning their children: "this could happen to you, and you were born here."

  125. Even the murderous Naxis kept precise records of families they had brutally captured, enslaved, and separated. This infamous chapter in our national life makes the World War II internment of Japanese American families seem “considerate” by comparison. Who in governmental leadership positions knew about this gross inhumanity and when did they know it? Heads must roll.

  126. Trump is beyond reproach.

  127. I honestly want trump officials charged with crimes and sent to jail for this cruelty, and kidnapping of babies and children.

  128. You know who will help sort this out? MS-13, that's who. They are living and breathing this along with the rest of the Hispanic community. It is as natural to them to seek to solve these mysteries as breathing. Their inroads in the familia will give them a leg up that the Federal authorities could never replicate. Anecdotal evidence will give them a jump start that no legal authority can reproduce. So thanks to Trump they will exponentially grow their numbers despite deporting every one of them they can.

  129. This is kidnapping plain and simple. Kidnapping for crass political ends.

  130. The Editorial Board is sugar-coating the actions of this administration by referring to the separation of children from their parents without the ability to reunite them. Some of these kids are so young they barely know their their own names, never mind their parents' names. Call it what it is: the government created orphans.

  131. No wonder Melania hardly ever pokes out. As a mother married to this cruel man would make most any woman hide. And to think a dad, her husband, can mandate that children be treated so cruelly must be hard to face, especially immigrant children. After all, she is an immigrant. Children mean nothing to this man. Do you ever see him even having fun with his grandchildren? Our country is a very sad example of what is supposed to stand for humanity. But to take it out on innocent kids? Donald Trump’s hatefulness has taken over.

  132. It's 9 PM. Do you know where the children in your custody are? When you take custody of children you are in loco parentis, the legal guardian responsible to keep those children safe and to return them to their parents or family. Or else you are kidnapping - call in the FBI.

  133. First the Trump administration separates the children from their families, then it cages them, then it puts them on planes and flies them scattershot thousands of miles away around the country, and finally it loses them in the “system.” Truly the best description of Trump and his administration and Kirstjen Nielsen certainly deserves a “dishonorable mention” here, is - “Malevolence tempered by incompetence.”

  134. Outrage is becoming our default response. We continue to act like he is somehow normal and has gone off the rails. He is only being who he has alway been - Donald Trump. And Donald Trump does NOT car at all about other people's kids (maybe not even all of his own), let alone impoverished little brown kids. The guys is and always has been a malignant sociopath. Period 2020 is our best hope to right the ship

  135. Sadistic cruelty is NOT greatness.

  136. We need a congressional inquiry into this fiasco. If this isn’t criminal, it ought to be.

  137. This topic ought to be the largest headline in every single decent newspaper every single day until this is resolved and the children are reunited with their families. And I wish I was a retired American (kindergarten) teacher and could start a campaign picketing the places where the kids are kept, so that at least they could receive some love and education while they are stuck there. This whole situation is horrifying, and utterly disgraceful in a civilised nation.

  138. Anyone that has ever been admitted to a hospital has had a bracelet unique to them put on their wrist. A simple scan of a bar code on the bracelet provides all the info needed to keep track of the person wearing it. When you consider the money and manpower wasted trying to work backwards it's astounding. I as an American am embarrassed that my country could be so cruel to children. Christian morals.......?

  139. Any government that harms small children is guilty of Child Abuse and Negligence.

  140. The administration should be fired. And, I'm sorry, the people working at the border should have said something. They know that when their kid goes on a school trip, the put a wrist band on, or something, so they are accounted for. No one down there said stop, wait a minute?

  141. Kidnapping? Is that a high crime or misdemeanor? For those who argue impeachment is too soon, what are we waiting for— murder?

  142. The lost children of the Trump administration. If anyone is to take you seriously, you should at least feign concern for the 89,000 children separated from their parents under the Obama administration, who started the policy. But let’s not mention inconvenient facts.

  143. Why? Because this administration doesn't see poor people of color--especially those from other countries--as equal to white people, especially white Americans. The human beings leading our country manage to not see the humanity of small children. It's like the war criminals of the past who caused the deaths of children--either by directly facilitating them or through purposeful neglect--in Germany, Rwanda, or Cambodia. What allows people to stop seeing others as humans?

  144. Horses, dogs, elephants, dung beetles , almost any animal you can mention show more affection and caring for their young than trump shows for the young of our species. What does it show about so many of us who elected him our highest official? Perhaps psychopaths are not expected not to show this kind of caring or humanity at all, but how did this semblance of a man become our president?

  145. I have a deep, visceral response to the act of deliberately separating children from their parents without leaving a trace behind to ensure they’re reunited. When my daughter was 8 years old we went to Paris. On the morning we planned to go to Versailles, my daughter stepped into the train before I could reach it. I watched the train doors close behind her — with me still on the platform — and I screamed. I know it wasn’t a normal scream, but a violent, gut-wrenching, continuous wail. I didn’t speak French but I hoped that someone, anyone on that train would recognize the heartbreaking cry of a mother being separated from her child. Many people just stood still and watched this crazy person. But one person heard me and decided to act. He put his hands on the door and helped me painfully pry them open. As soon as I was able to squeeze through, I did. My daughter was terrified. I was shaking. We hugged each other for a very, very long time. That was ten years ago. My daughter can’t bear to be reminded of that morning. My heart still races just writing about what happened to us. I often wonder what I would’ve done if I’d lost my daughter that day. If no one had helped. If people speaking a foreign language had ignored my cries of pain. If, in fact, someone deliberately prevented me from being reunited with her. The Trump administration, Secretary Nielsen and the other accomplices are beyond cruel. They are criminals.

  146. @Eve R Thank you for this heartwrenching story. Ripping children from their parents is a human rights abuse but losing track of them once the deed is done is inexuseable, cruel and incompetent. What has America come to?

  147. @Eve R @NYT: Please run Eve's message somewhere where the world can see it.

  148. @Eve R Almost every parent has experienced that momentary panic when, for example, one is separated from one's child in a crowd. They seem like an eternity. Here, our government cruelly and needlessly ripped children from the arms of their loving parents and, for both parties, it may not be a moment of panic, but a lifetime of separation and searching. If there is any justice, there needs to be an investigation of who was involved and, if possible, they should be prosecuted for human rights violations. What if a foreign government ripped children away from their American parents who were visiting that country and is now unable to reunite those children with their parents? Republicans would be demanding immediate action including, if necessary, military action. But, because these children are non-white refugees, those same Republicans stand in silent fear that Trump's angry mob supporters will vote against them in a future primary election. It is a sad, sad day in American history.

  149. From committing adultery over and over, to not paying his contractors or suppliers, to his promoting violence at his rallies, Trump proves daily that he is incapable of caring about human life. He makes decisions about the air we breath and the water we drink without caring if it's clean or not. He makes human rights decisions without caring about humans. He has the nuclear code without caring about life on earth.

  150. @Linda And now add not paying government employees, contractors, suppliers, etc, which is equivalent to indented servitude.

  151. @Linda: Luckily HE doesn’t have the nuclear codes. A military officer in his presence has them. Trump, nor any of his regime, can get into the ‘football’ & none know how to use the codes. I started saying before he was inaugurated that the officers in this duty need to be special men. They must be able to, whichever is necessary, run away with the football, or destroy it & themselves to keep someone as insane as Trump from using those codes. They must be hero material. Seems when America needs heros (& often not until that exact moment) one or more pop up. I pray every night for these people (not necessarily all men anymore). They must be braver than brave, & willing to stand up to torture if they don’t manage to either escape or die before Trumps criminal regime catches them. Also, since the codes are changed frequently, in such a case, someone will need to change the codes without informing the WH.

  152. I can’t help but think that this zero tolerance policy should literally be classified as a crime against humanity. If we had anything approaching a functional society at this point, Trump and his cronies would immediately be indicted and removed from office for this offense alone. Thousands of innocent children have been, and still are, being exposed to devastating trauma as a result of these separations, and they will spend the rest of their lives struggling to recover. Just read up on, for example, Adverse Childhood Experiences. (And, of course, their parents will suffer, too.) How is it that 40% of voters approve of Trump? Are so many of us so cruel?

  153. @NA Wilson the phrase I've been using is that Trumpists enact a level of 'cruelty to the point of sadism.' I forget which Republican leaders said it, but the the remark was made of 'cruelty is the point'. Trump's methodology is humans are not sentient beings. Children of asylum seekers are like ciphers to be acted on, neglected, not really human...and if they are harmed, it's part of their sadism and so it doesn't matter.

  154. @Tulipano. I believe the remark you quote was Stephen Miller's, who functions in Trump's presidency as Dick Cheney was to Dubya.

  155. @NA Wilson: Even kidnappers ask for a ransom. This is worse.

  156. During the Bush administration, the use of torture was for me the unforgivable act. It violated the Geneva Conventions and put the United States in the category of various dictatorships around the world that use torture as a norm. The separation of immigrant children from their families by the Trump administration falls into the same category for me. There is a cruelty, a malevolence and a vacuum not just in moral leadership but in perverting law enforcement to commit these crimes against humanity. The indifference to the suffering of the children and their families, the lifelong trauma, and the potential nearterm harm from unlicensed facilities, lack of medical treatment, schooling or appropriate daycare is horrific. It debases everything America stands for. The crimes of the Trump campaign and administration may well include conspiracy with Russia and corruption but few can reach the depths of harming innocent children. Turning children, immigrants, government workers, or Congress people travelling to a war zone all into hostages or pawns to get your way is not governance. It is extortion and despotism.

  157. @smb. Such drama. Immigrants and children don’t need to show up at the border.

  158. @smb Why doesn't Mexico have a head count of those who illegally crossed its borders with or without kids? None of these illegals just winged their way from Nicaragua, etc... and landed at the U.S. border (knowing they'd be stopped, detained, separated and likely sent back). Over and over, the illegals bringing kids haver said they assumed they'd get a special pass if they dragged a kid with them. That's the same gamesmanship of those who send ahead just the minor child alone or with a paid guide.

  159. @smb The Bush family will go down as the worst this country ever produced.

  160. For sure the answer to your rhetorical question, "Why can't the government account for how many children it separates from their parents at the border?" is a simple one. It can't account for them because it simply does not care to do so. The children and their parents, who are for the most part fleeing horrendous environments and simply searching for a better life, don't really count as human in the eyes of our government. But really they can't count for much to the rest of us either. In a democracy WE are the government. It is acting in our name, representing us and our interests and choices. If we truly think something our government is doing is this inhumane what are we doing about it? Where are the protests in the streets? How many of us has even picked up a phone or set pen to paper to petition our representatives to do something about it. These people are political pawns to us, not Moms, Dads, sons, daughters - the people who should remind us through their struggles of our own great-grandparents. Honor the stranger? We don't even see them as people.

  161. @Victor Lazaron, MD I think there is yet another question to ask: where are these children, and in whose interest is their "vanishing" beneficial? Doesn´t anyone wonder why thousands of young children and infants are disappearing? Is it possible that their invisibility is necessary for some other purpose?

  162. @John Smith First off, requesting asylum, at a port of entry or elsewhere, is not illegal. Moreover, most of us have ancestors who arrived in this country as something less than the “best and brightest,” but quickly begat children and grandchildren who qualified for that very description. Thankfully, many of us haven’t forgotten where our families came from and retain compassion for the fellow human beings who will enrich our country in the future, just as our own grandparents did.

  163. It's easy to convince ourselves the separation of children from their parents doesn't affect us personally. Cowed by the fear-mongering of politicians, we hide in our smart phones and TV shows and pray the bad man will make it all go away. But like Scrooge in a Christmas Carol, these are chinks in a very long chain that will be secured to our national character forever: proof yet again that we are not who we say we are.

  164. The manner in which this administration separated children from their parents with no system in place to rejoin them could only be described as "with reckless indifference." This is not just a heartbreaking story; it's a crime story deserving of prosecution.

  165. It is time for the "March for The Children". There are no words that can capture the harm and devastation done to these families. I feel like I am living in a foreign nation; these are not the actions of the nation I once believed we were. Trump, Sessions, Nielsen and Pence should all be prosecuted for this reckless, ill-conceived mutilation of governance. Additionally, it is treasonous for those in power with the responsibility of oversight to let policies such as these be invoked without repercussion. These thoughtless, criminal measures are meant only to create and/or feed a false narrative to keep a heartless man ( and now seemingly heartless party) in power. There is much shame to be had. While these separated innocents suffer the most, all our children are now at increased risk due to toxic water, land and air. The damage and havoc these anti-science, anti-intellect, anti-rational years has and are doing is irreversible. Our current administration is not fit to protect these children. And they have shown no interest in doing so responsibly. They have also chosen corporate and special interest over the health of every child in this county. It is definitely politics over little people.

  166. It may be useful for people to consider the obligations of the US under the Convention on refugee Status which we signed in 1968: "A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it." People, and let's never forget we're speaking of real flesh & blood human beings, are entitled to asylum in the US if they have a well founded fear of "bing persecuted". Certainly that includes the well-founded fear of violence that many, likely most, of the current Central American refugees have. These are not primarily economically driven immigrants. If we want to change our treaty obligations the US has national sovereignty and can do so. In the meantime should we not be meeting our treaty obligations?

  167. @KenC GOP = Love the Fetus hate the Child.

  168. At first I thought this article was about the actual members of Trump's administration, then I realized, 'oh, THAT lost.'

  169. the Guatemalan father whose daughter /Jakelyn died spoke neither Spanish nor English. Unaccompanied minors who could not identify themselves are recorded somewhere, perhaps not as meticulously just as children were in Nazi and Japanese camps. camps.. There have been reports that the displaced border minors had numbers written on their arms. We need a full accounting of those who have been put in foster care and those who are displaced.

  170. He needs a heart, truer words have never spoken-

  171. "You can't manage what you can't measure." - Drucker

  172. Sadism, it's just that simple. There are painful stories from the immigrant generations in my family but this is just so beyond that kind of prejudice. Where does this kind of extreme come from? It's almost impossible to have a coherent thought on it, it's like watching someone rip somebody apart and try to tell you it's normal.

  173. Thank you, ACLU, for uncovering this information.

  174. A prison guard from the Panhandle of Florida complained that the shutdown was “hurting the wrong people.” She was down with tRump hurting the “right people.” Let’s be honest with the Republicans policy of child separation, it’s hurting the right people. They fully support the President and Miller’s policy because they couldn’t care less about immigrants. They view this as a successful deterrent policy. The permanent damage done to these families is a stain on our reputation in the world and confirms our President ‘s callous calculation that his base is pleased with him as long as he’s “hurting the right people.”

  175. "Why can’t the government account for how many children it separated from their parents at the border?" It's a valid question. While we're on the subject, do we know the status of the 1000's of "unaccompanied minors" the Obama administration allowed in back in 2014-15? Hello? Is this thing on??

  176. This is a human rights violation and a bonafide atrocity. Shame on them for doing this, and shame on anyone who supports it.

  177. The children were lost from the very beginning, when their misfortune was to be born in corrupt overpopulated central American countries. Their next misfortune was when their parents decided they were going to migrate to the USA through dangerous terrain and journey without applying for legal entry to the USA from their country of birth. The crisis at the border was not created by the Trump administration anymore than the Obama administration or the Clinton administration or the Bush administration. It is a result of our over burdened immigration system and Trump was the first president to make it the primary issue in the 2016 presidential elections and the first president trying to exercise his limited powers to deal with the situation by enforcing the law that is a result of decades of congressional inaction to reform our immigration laws from the last century. Sorry for the innocent children having to bear the burden of irresponsible parents and countries of their birth but as far as I am aware the children are taken care off by the Trump administration and every attempt is made to reunite the children with their parents. Seel very sorry for the 2 out of the thousands of children who have died due to illnesses that they came with.

  178. Isn’t this a “high crime”? Why haven’t we impeached trump for implementing this gruesome plan. We cannot call ourselves human, much less American for allowing trump to treat anyone in this way.