A damning new report from the Homeland Security Department's inspector general is out.
The report found that the DHS never had any proper information technology systems in place to track the number of separated migrant families under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy. Customs and Border Protection officials, per the inspector general, were aware of the technological deficiencies as early as November 2017, but the policy was enacted in May 2018 anyway, even though CBP hadn't adequately addressed the issues. The agency did adopt other methods to track and record separations, but those led to widespread errors, per the report.
"Because of these IT deficiencies, we could not confirm the total number of families DHS separated during the Zero Tolerance period," the report reads.
DHS has estimated 3,014 children were separated and that the agency completed 2,155 reunifications, but the inspector general's office conducted a review of DHS data during the "zero tolerance" period and identified 136 children "with potential family relationships who were not accurately recorded by CBP." In a broader review of the data collected between Oct. 1, 2017, and Feb. 14, 2019, the inspector general found an additional 1,233 children with potential relationships that CBP didn't accurately record. But the numbers couldn't be validated. Read the full findings here.