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Gov. Watchdog: HHS, DHS Weren't Ready For 'Zero Tolerance' Policy

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Gov. Watchdog: HHS, DHS Weren't Ready For 'Zero Tolerance' Policy
Officials for the departments said they didn't even know about the "zero tolerance" policy until Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced it.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

A report from a government watchdog says the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services weren't prepared when the Trump administration rolled out its "zero tolerance" policy in April. 

The U.S. Government Accountability Office publicly released the 44-page report on Wednesday. It was originally published earlier this month. 

The report delves into how Homeland Security and HHS had no plan in place when officials started separating more families at the border and taking every migrant who crossed the border illegally into custody with plans to prosecute them. 

Officials for the departments said they didn't even know about the zero tolerance policy until Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced it. 

The HHS' Office of Refugee Resettlement had already noticed the number of migrant children being separated from their families was increasing — from 0.3 percent in November 2016 to 3.6 percent in August 2017. 

Although President Donald Trump eventually reversed the zero tolerance policy, the GAO report says as of Sept. 10, more than 400 migrant children who meet the qualifications to be reunited with their families are still in ORR custody.