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In response to a report from the Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general’s office confirming that thousands more families were separated at the border than previously acknowledged by US authorities, Amnesty International regional researcher Brian Griffey issued the following statement:

“Today’s report confirms Amnesty International’s research, which found that thousands more families at the southern border were separated than the administration initially disclosed. By their own admission, US authorities intentionally separated families in order to deter others from trying to seek safety in the United States. This cruel and dangerous policy must never be put into practice again.

“Ripping children from the arms of their parents or guardians is a brazen violation of human rights. US authorities must immediately reveal full statistics on family separations for public scrutiny and ensure that all separated families are reunited.”

In October 2018, Amnesty International released a report finding that the U.S. government deliberately adopted immigration policies and practices that caused catastrophic harm to thousands of people seeking safety in the United States, including the separation of over 6,000 family units in just a four-month period.

The Department of Homeland Security previously denied the findings of Amnesty’s report.