This is part three of a three-part WOLA series on the horror that the Trump administration and its “zero tolerance” policy unleashed at the U.S.-Mexico border this spring and summer—and what may come next. (Here is part one, on “zero tolerance” itself, and part two, on what happened at ports of entry.) All three are based on extensive documentary research and the fieldwork we did in Arizona back in June.

Tiny excerpt from the new one:

Incredibly, the agencies holding the parents (ICE, Bureau of Prisons, or U.S. Marshals) have very little interface with the agency managing the children (ORR), and made little effort to track family members in each other’s custody. Still more incredibly, in nearly all cases, CBP kept no record of the link between the parents and children at the moment it separated them.

Parents being charged with “improper entry” were given no receipt, claim check, or any other document establishing their link to their children. No database maintained a record of the parent-child relationship. Parents, and the agencies holding the parents, were given no information about their children’s whereabouts, as ORR moved them to shelters and homes all around the country.

I hope you find this work useful. Read on:

  1. The Zero Tolerance Policy, published July 16.
  2. “Come Back Later”: Challenges for Asylum Seekers Waiting at Ports of Entry, published August 2.
  3. A National Shame: The Trump Administration’s Separation and Detention of Migrant Families, published August 28.