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Honduras identifies 459 children separated from families in US

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By Agence France-Presse

A total of 459 Honduran children separated from their parents as a result of Washington’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy have now been identified, officials said Friday, a jump from previous figures.

Guatemalan Elsa Ortiz, who was deported from the US in June, holds a videoconference with her son Antony Tovar Ortiz who remains in the United States, as she asks to have him back while demonstrating outside the hotel where US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and authorities from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, are holding a meeting in Guatemala City on July 10, 2018. Nielsen arrived in the Guatemala to discuss the migration crisis unleashed by Washington's "zero tolerance" practice with authorities of Mexico and countries of the North Triangle of Central America. The US policy saw more than 2,300 children split up from their families and their parents prosecuted for illegally crossing the border, even if they did so to seek asylum. / AFP PHOTO / Johan ORDONEZ/ MANILA BULLETIN

Guatemalan Elsa Ortiz, who was deported from the US in June, holds a videoconference with her son Antony Tovar Ortiz who remains in the United States, as she asks to have him back while demonstrating outside the hotel where US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and authorities from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, are holding a meeting in Guatemala City on July 10, 2018.
Nielsen arrived in the Guatemala to discuss the migration crisis unleashed by Washington’s “zero tolerance” practice with authorities of Mexico and countries of the North Triangle of Central America. The US policy saw more than 2,300 children split up from their families and their parents prosecuted for illegally crossing the border, even if they did so to seek asylum. / AFP PHOTO / Johan ORDONEZ/ MANILA BULLETIN

The new number was issued by the foreign ministry a day after the government said that the country’s consular officials in the US had identified 313 Honduran children in visits to shelters following President Donald Trump’s decision to end family separations.

A foreign ministry statement said the number of parents arrested and separated from their children totaled 289.

It added that the ministry had sent a note to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, thanking the US for ending the policy and urgently seeking an official list of the separated families.

The US government came under fierce international criticism for forcibly separating thousands of families, most of them from Central America and seeking asylum due to violence in their home countries.

The backlash led Trump to suspend the separations, which were ordered as part of the administration’s effort to deter migrants from illegally crossing the Mexican border.

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