Around 500 migrant kids who were separated from their parents at the US border have reportedly been reunited with their families

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence, displays an executive order he signed that will end the practice of separating family members who are apprehended while illegally entering the US, June 20, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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President Donald Trump, accompanied by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence, displays an executive order he signed that will end the practice of separating family members who are apprehended while illegally entering the US, June 20, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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Getty Images/Win McNamee

  • About 500 of the more than 2,000 children separated from their families at the US-Mexico border have reportedly been reunited since May.
  • Many of the children were reunited within days after being separated from their families, a senior Trump administration official told the Associated Press.

About 500 of the more than 2,000 children separated from their families at the US-Mexico border have been reunited since May, a senior Trump administration official told the Associated Press on Thursday.

The official, who was not authorized to release the numbers, said the children had been separated from their parents as a result of President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that calls for the criminal prosecution of anyone caught crossing the US border illegally.

The official claimed that many of the children were reunited within days after being separated from their families, according to the Associated Press. The official wasn’t certain how many of the reunited children remained in custody with their families or how many were no longer in the country.

Children who were separated from their families were housed in detention centers near the border or taken in by foster families. Parents who were caught were either detained or already deported.

The chaos surrounding the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy has dominated headlines for weeks, but it reached a tipping point in recent days as sounds and images showing the fallout prompted by the policy captured worldwide attention.

Following the public backlash, which came from a bipartisan cadre of lawmakers, Trump signed an executive order to end the family separations. However, Trump and his close associates have only escalated the confusion around the policy.

“We’re going to have strong, very strong, borders, but we are going to keep the families together,” Trump said as he signed the order on Wednesday. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”

The senior Trump official cited by the Associated Press said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Health and Human Services are working to set up a centralized reunification process at the Port Isabel Detention Center near Los Fresnos, Texas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.