Paul Manafort’s plea deal, Hurricane Florence’s destruction, and the controversy surrounding US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are displacing coverage of what may be the defining tragedy of the Trump administration: America has created orphans.

Here’s the latest report on the families that Trump separated at the border and that a federal court ordered reunited more than two months ago.

Kids still separated from their families:

As of Sept. 13: 211 — 6 under age five

Of the 211, the number of kids still separated because the US government deported their parents without them:

As of Sept. 13: 165 — 5 are under five

Even when the government makes little or no substantive progress toward reunification, the passage of time appears to help its performance metrics. For example, as children turn 18, they age out of the “child” category and move to Justice Department detention centers. Likewise, as kids reach their fifth birthdays, the “under age five” group shrinks.

While holding the government’s feet to the fire, the ACLU is doing what it can to help solve the problem that Trump created.

Trump’s Counterproductive Immigration Policy

The law of unintended consequences is also taking its toll. From The New York Times last week:

“Even though hundreds of children separated from their families after crossing the border have been released under court order, the overall number of detained migrant children has exploded to the highest ever recorded — a significant counternarrative to the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce the number of undocumented families coming to the United States.

“Population levels at federally contracted shelters for migrant children have quietly shot up more than fivefold since last summer, according to data obtained by The New York Times, reaching a total of 12,800 this month. There were 2,400 such children in custody in May 2017.

“The huge increases, which have placed the federal shelter system near capacity, are due not to an influx of children entering the country, but a reduction in the number being released to live with families and other sponsors, the data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services suggests. Some of those who work in the migrant shelter network say the bottleneck is straining both the children and the system that cares for them.”

As Trump’s policy deters relatives and family friends in America from sponsoring children, the kids remain in federal custody.

Welcome to Trump’s America.

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