According to an unreleased report from the Department of Homeland Security’s watchdog, at least 860 migrant children were held in Border Patrol holding cells for longer than the 72-hour court-mandated limit during the Trump administration’s family separation policy. According to The Washington Post, which reviewed the report, one child was held for 12 days and another was held for 25. The inspector general’s report also said that many children were held in “chain-link holding pens” in southern Texas that were “lacking beds and showers” while they were waiting to be transferred to more permanent shelters. Among the many issues that stemmed from “planning shortfalls, widespread communication failures and administrative indifference,” the report also observed that some children with no speaking abilities were separated from their parents without a means of identification to link them to their proper files. The report also described a “poorly coordinated interagency process” and an inability to share documents that left parents knowing very little about their child’s whereabouts.
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