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Sylvia Mathews Burwell

What went wrong with Trump's family-separation effort at the border?

What went wrong with Trump's family-separation effort at the border?

When a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunify migrant families separated at the border, the government's cleanup crews faced an immediate problem.

They weren't sure who the families were, let alone what to call them.

Customs and Border Protection databases had categories for "family units" and "unaccompanied alien children" who arrive without parents. They did not have a distinct classification for more than 2,600 children who had been taken from their families and placed in government shelters.

So agents came up with a new term: "deleted family units."

But when they sent that information to the refugee office at the...

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