GOP senator: Obama administration’s track record on reuniting families 'wasn't particularly good either'

GOP senator: Obama administration’s track record on reuniting families 'wasn't particularly good either'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonTSA absences raise stakes in shutdown fight The Hill's Morning Report — Washington searches for answers as shutdown hits 24 days GOP senator: 'I would hate to see' Trump declare national emergency over border MORE (R-Wis.) in an interview early Sunday pointed to the Obama administration’s track record when asked if the Trump administration will be able to reunite migrant children who were separated from their families at the border.

“You’re the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the Senate,” host Jake Tapper said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “You would know, theoretically. Does the U.S. government have the skills, do they have the information to reunite these kids, as first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpOvernight Defense: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown on track to become longest ever | Military begins withdrawing equipment from Syria | Bolton taps new deputy Bolton names replacement for deputy who clashed with first lady The Hill's Morning Report — Groundhog Day: Negotiations implode as shutdown reaches 20 days MORE has said she wants to have happen?”

“So they are saying they do. We’ll continue our oversight on that,” Johnson responded.

“But the track record of the prior administration wasn’t particularly good either,” the Wisconsin Republican added. “A subcommittee looked ... into the lack of coordination between [the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)], who with unaccompanied children has to turn those unaccompanied children over to [the Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS)] within 72 hours. And they literally lost track of, I think it was about 1,500 kids.”

“You’re talking about the Obama administration,” Tapper interjected.

“I know, this is within the Obama administration and then the Trump administration trying to check on the sponsors and unaccompanied children that had been sent into HHS,” Johnson replied.

“Again, Jake, this is incredibly complex.”

The exchange came hours after DHS said it knows the location of all children separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

A department fact sheet released late Saturday said there were 2,053 separated children in the care of HHS as of June 20.

More than 500 children who were separated as result of the policy have been reunited with their parents, it added.