The ACLU on Friday said HHS' latest filing in a case on child separations proves that the Trump administration doesn't know how many families it split up at the border. In the court filing in Mrs. L v. ICE, Jonathan White, a commander for the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, concurred with an OIG report stating that the total number of children separated at the border was "unknown."
"The Trump administration's response is a shocking concession that it can't easily find thousands of children it ripped from parents, and doesn't even think it's worth the time to locate each of them," ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said in a statement. "The administration also doesn't dispute that separations are ongoing in significant numbers."
White, for his part, said HHS never sought to tally the total number of children separated from their parents at the border — only those in the "class" identified in the Mrs. L case. "It is critical to understand that HHS knew the identity, location, and clinical condition of all re-categorized children at all times during their stay in [Office of Refugee Resettlement] shelters," White wrote. "HHS did not 'lose' any of them. OIG found no evidence to the contrary."