DHS: US authorities return over 500 migrant children to parents

DHS: US authorities return over 500 migrant children to parents

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reunited 522 migrant children, who had been separated from their parents, with their parents, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement, Sputnik reported.

"CBP has reunited 522 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in their custody who were separated from adults as part of the Zero Tolerance initiative," the statement said Saturday.

The statement also added that 16 more children would be reunited with their families in the near future.

According to the DHS, several children will not be returned to relatives as they have been separated not because of the zero-tolerance policy, for example if family connections cannot be properly identified or if adults are criminals and such return could pose threat to a child.

In April, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new zero-tolerance policy for anyone who crossed the US border illegally, which would mean placing adults in detention and sending children to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Almost 2,000 immigrant children were forcibly separated from their parents between April 19 and May 31 under this policy. On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed a decree which put an end to the policy of separating migrant families who crossed the US border illegally following a wave of criticism over the practice.

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