Photo: AP

In the ongoing horror show of the Trump Administration’s family separation policy, we may have hit a new low. CNN reports today that the administration has indicated that as many as 463 parents of children who were detained by the US government may have already been deported back to their countries of origin without their children, though that number is “under review”.

CNN writes:

The government has maintained that any parent deported without their child had the opportunity to bring their kid with them, but willingly left without them. Attorneys and immigrant advocates have questioned whether the parents fully understood to what they were agreeing.

It’s pretty hard to imagine a parent deciding to leave their child in a foreign country on their own, especially if they are unclear about where that child actually is or how to communicate with them. In fact, that’s probably not what happened:

But for the 12 already deported parents the government identified in its first batch of reunifications, families with children under the age of 5, the government missed the deadline. Tracking down those parents and reaffirming they in fact do want their child to remain in the US without them proved difficult when the parents numbered one dozen. The government has not indicated how it will track down hundreds. [...]

Of the parents still in the US, 900 are already facing a final order of deportation. Judge Dana Sabraw has temporarily ordered a pause on all deportations of reunited families as he considers a request to allow families time to evaluate their options before deportation.

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So let’s review: our country stole children from hundreds of families and then deported those children’s parents. And we have no idea how we’re going to reunite them.

This post will be updated if further information becomes available.