Emails Show Trump Administration Had 'No Way to Link' Separated Migrant Children to Parents - NBC Southern California
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Emails Show Trump Administration Had 'No Way to Link' Separated Migrant Children to Parents

Officials scrambled to fill out a simple spreadsheet with data in hopes of reuniting as many as families as they could

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    File-In this Dec. 13, 2018, file photo, teen migrants walk in line inside the Tornillo detention camp in Tornillo, Texas.

    On the same day the Trump administration said it would reunite thousands of migrant families it had separated at the border with the help of a "central database," an official was admitting privately the government only had enough information to reconnect 60 parents with their kids, according to emails obtained by NBC News.

    "[I]n short, no, we do not have any linkages from parents to [children], save for a handful," a Health and Human Services official told a top official at Immigration and Customs Enforcement on June 23, 2018. "We have a list of parent alien numbers but no way to link them to children."

    In the absence of an effective database, the emails show, officials then began scrambling to fill out a simple spreadsheet with data in hopes of reuniting as many as families as they could.