DHS watchdog to investigate whether children are being separated from asylum seekers: report

DHS watchdog to investigate whether children are being separated from asylum seekers: report

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inspector general will reportedly examine whether the department is separating the children of asylum seekers from their parents while in immigration custody.

CNN reported that Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinLive coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report Hugh Hewitt to Trump: 'It is 100 percent wrong to separate border-crossing families' Opioid treatment plans must include a trauma-informed approach MORE (D-Ill.) and other Democratic senators recently asked the inspector general to investigate following reports that immigrant children were split up from their parents while in custody. 

DHS Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenSessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Trump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy McCain calls on Trump to rescind family separation policy: It's 'an affront to the decency of the American people' MORE testified last week that the department only separates children from their parents “in the interest of the child.”

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The inspector general said his office would “conduct a review of this matter,” CNN reported. 

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Trump administration in February, alleging that officials were targeting immigrant families seeking asylum. 

The case focused on allegations that a Congolese woman was being held in a facility in San Diego while her 7-year-old daughter was held in a facility in Chicago. The two were later reunited. 

Thomas Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told The Associated Press in January that there have been separations in some cases.

He added that while many asylum seekers are trying to escape dangerous situations, others are "taking advantage of a low threshold."

The Trump administration has made cracking down on immigration a key focus following the president's campaign promises.