Speed Reads


No one at this child separation hearing knows how many children are still separated

A House hearing on President Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy seems like the perfect place to ask how many children are still separated by the government. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) proved that assumption wrong.

On Thursday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy, which separated migrant children from their families at the border. The policy didn't account for reunifying those families, meaning that even months after the policy was repealed by Trump's executive order, children were still staying in overloaded detention facilities and tent cities while waiting for a sponsor or family member in the U.S. to pass screenings. The most notorious tent city in Tornillo, Texas once held as many as 2,500 minors, and wasn't empty until mid January.

So at the hearing, with a gathering of government officials directly involved with the family separation policy, Schakowsky decided to ask some simple questions. "Does anyone know how many children were separated from their parents?," she asked first, with no answer. "Does anyone know how many separated kids are still in U.S. custody?" she asked again. "No one knows," Schakowsky concluded. Watch her questioning below. Kathryn Krawczyk