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A National Database Notes an Earlier Start Date for Child Separations at the Border

A newly released report shows that parents who crossed into the United States illegally were separated from their children before the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" deportation practice took effect in May, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The report, released through the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, found that no fewer than 228 children were separated from their parents in April. Just one parent of those 228 children was referred to prosecution, according to the report; the others were deported. The "zero tolerance" practice, which prosecuted anyone caught crossing the border and encouraged the deportation of parents even while their children were swept up in the U.S.'s immigration detention system, was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in May.

The TRAC report also notes a 14.5 percent decrease between this fiscal year and last in the number of adults crossing with children into the U.S.—23,000 through April of this year, compared to 27,000 through April of last year. Over half of the children apprehended by Border Patrol agents through April of this fiscal year were seven or younger, according to the report.