A 10-year-old Mexican girl with Down syndrome was separated from her mother while entering the US and put into a federal facility, Mexico’s foreign minister said Tuesday while denouncing the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy.
Luis Videgaray said at least 21 Mexican kids have been separated from their parents in recent weeks, including the “heartbreaking case” of the 10-year-old girl — whose father is a legal US resident, according to the Wall Street Journal.
She’s being held at a center in McAllen, Texas, while her mom is in Brownsville. Videgaray said the government is working to reunite the girl with her father.
He called the policy of separating kids from their parents while the adults are prosecuted for crossing the border illegally “cruel and inhumane.”
Meanwhile, a new report says the Trump administration has likely lost track of far more unaccompanied minors than the previously reported figure of 1,500 — possibly almost 6,000 kids.
That figure was based on calls to 7,635 children who crossed the border alone and were released into the custody of sponsors — 1,475 of whom didn’t respond.
But more than 42,497 unaccompanied minors were placed with sponsors last year, according to McClatchy — so, based on the government’s own claims that 14 percent are unaccounted for, the news outlet calculates it has really lost track of 5,945 children.
“There is a lot more,” a former Office of Refugee Resettlement field specialist told McClatchy. “You can bet that the numbers are higher. It doesn’t really give you a real picture.”