In the six weeks that President Donald Trump's "heartless and cruel" family separation policy has been in effect, nearly 2,000 immigrant children have been separated from their families, according Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data obtained by the Associated Press and published on Friday.
The staggering figure—which averages out to 47 children ripped from their parents' arms each day—comes as Trump and the Republican Party continue to lie about the White House's responsibility for the so-called "zero tolerance" policy that made family separation a consistent practice.
According to the DHS figures, "1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults from April 19 through May 31," the AP reports.
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) June 15, 2018
2000 children in *six weeks*. Think about the scale of the crime being perpetrated here. https://t.co/z10uzkklds
— Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp) June 15, 2018
When Trump was asked about his administration's family separation policy during a press gaggle on the White House lawn on Friday before the DHS numbers were made public, the president claimed to "hate" that children are been taken from their families and stated falsely: "Democrats have to change their law. That's their law."
The crowd of reporters tried repeatedly to explain to Trump that his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is responsible for the family separation policy and that he could change it at any time—but Trump pressed on, unphased by the facts.