Last month, lawyers were ordered to find parents of children in families separated by the Trump administration.

Por Alma Sacasa
Noviembre 10, 2020
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Credit: Getty Images

According to an email obtained by NBC News, the lawyers that are working to reunite migrant families separated by the Trump administration have said the number of separated children whose parents they cannot find has increased to 666. Last month, the lawyers originally reported that they could not find the parents of 545 children.

In the email, attorney Steven Herzog said that the number is now higher because the new group includes those "for whom the government did not provide any phone number." He also asked that the attorneys representing the Trump administration help the search by "providing any available updated contact information, or other information that may be helpful in establishing contact for all 666 of these parents."

The Trump administration declared the "zero tolerance" policy at the United States–Mexico border between April and June 2018, which separated families arriving at the border; the administration also developed a pilot program in the El Paso, Texas area that separated families. Most of the children with missing parents were part of that program, but the 666 total also includes those who were separated under the "zero tolerance" policy.

President-elect Joe Biden has said he will establish a task force that will help to reunite all migrant families separated by Trump administration policies on "day one" of his term. "This Administration ripped babies from their mothers' arms, and then it seems, those parents were in many cases deported without their children and have not been found," Biden said in a statement last month. "It's an outrage, a moral failing, and a stain on our national character."