The Department of Homeland Security says it has finished reuniting children under the age of five who were separated from their guardians while crossing the border.
On Thursday, D.H.S. said it had reunited 57 children as of 7 a.m. Eastern.
“As of this morning, the initial reunifications were completed. Throughout the reunification process our goal has been the well-being of the children and returning them to a safe environment.” said Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a news release.
The Trump administration had faced a bi-partisan outrage over the decision to separate migrant families caught crossing the border illegally. The Department of Homeland Security was forced to comply with a court order to reunite young children this week.
DHS did not release new information about children older than 5 still within its custody.
On Tuesday, a handful of Senate Democrats demanded a hearing in the judiciary committee to require Trump administration officials to release more details about its detention policies.
“I’m very worried about the numbers, I’m not sure they’re accurate,” said New Mexico Senator Tom Udall.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says out of the 103 kids under the age of five once in custody, 57 of them are now back with their parents. The others could not be returned to the adults who brought them, either because the parents had already been deported or there were concerns for the child’s safety.
“We’ve saved kids’ lives by keeping them from being with some really evil people some of them are keeping them with people who are not their parents,” said Azar.
Many Democrats, however, don’t believe the claims and want Azar to testify under oath before the Senate Judicary Committee.
“I find this to be a disaster. I find this to be unacceptable. There’s no transparency,” Udall said, adding that he remains concerned about the thousands of migrant children between the ages 5 and 18 that remain in HHS care.