The Department of Homeland Security was discussing separating migrant children from their mothers in the earliest days of the Trump administration, NBC News reported.
Obtained by MSNBC, notes from a closed-door town hall meeting on Feb. 2, 2017, for Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum officers show the agency's chief told officers they might have to "hold mothers longer" and "hold children in HHR/ORR," an acronym for facilities for children run by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The policies he laid out were intended to lower the number of immigrants claiming asylum, which was at a 20-year high point in 2016.
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The Trump administration has been falsely claiming that the increasing number of children being separated from their parents at the southern border is not its own policy but a tragic byproduct of enforcing the law.