More than 6,000 families have been separated at the Southwest border by the Trump administration, said an Amnesty International report.
According to Amnesty, the number provided by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is an indication that the Trump administration has separated more families that it previously stated.
(The CBP figures refer to separations of the “family unit” which is an imprecise measure that refers both to families separated and individuals separated from families, Amnesty said.)
Amnesty published a 74-page report titled “You Don’t Have Any Rights Here: Illegal Pushbacks, Arbitrary Detention and Ill-treatment of Asylum-seekers in the United States,” in which it states that the United States is breaking international laws using cruel and systematic ways which prevent asylum seekers from accessing the States.
“The Trump administration is waging a deliberate campaign of human rights violations against asylum-seekers, in order to broadcast globally that the United States no longer welcomes refugees,” the report said. “Simultaneously, the Trump administration is seeking to dismantle the U.S. asylum system, including by narrowing definitions of who qualifies for protection – in violation of international law.”
“Most of these families were separated despite having documentary evidence of their identities and family relationships in their possession at the time that they presented themselves to request asylum at official ports-of-entry. That evidence included passports, national identification cards, birth certificates, and court orders designating legal guardianship, among other official documents,” according to Amnesty.
A spokesperson of the government issued a statement to Newsweek in which he rejected the allegations. According to the statement, family separation policy does not exist in the agency’s policies. The spokesperson said that the DHS only separates families when it cannot establish a familial relationship, determines a child may be at risk or the legal guardian is referred for criminal prosecution.
The Amnesty report addresses and challenges these statements.