[Sabraw] had ruled in March that the Trump administration was responsible for all of the children the government separated from their parents and not just the 2,700-plus children who remained in federal custody on June 26 when the judge ordered officials to reunite the families.
The Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy at the US-Mexico border separated scores of families from May to June 20 in an attempt to deter rising numbers of Central Americans from crossing the border with their children. Trump said the immigrants were exploiting legal loopholes to apply for asylum and win release in the United States. Under the policy, officials prosecuted adults for the crime of crossing the border and sent their children to federal shelters across the country.
But a government watchdog later discovered that thousands more children may have been taken from their parents starting as early as July 1, 2017, in a trial run of the zero-tolerance policy, but efforts to track them were so poor that the exact number is unknown.
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