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Wailing kids heard on tape reportedly from detention center

Children can be heard crying in newly-released audio obtained by ProPublica that was reportedly recorded in a US Customs and Border Protection facility. CNN has not independently verified the recording.

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 9:56 AM
Updated: Jun 19, 2018 10:07 AM

White House legislative director Marc Short on Monday defended the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy for illegal border crossings, which has led to children being separated from their parents.

But Short's arguments in favor of the administration's policies don't quite add up when past government reports are factored into the equation.

In his interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "The Situation Room," Short claimed the choice between separating children from their parents or allowing them into the country illegally was "binary."

"To separate the children, or instead, within 20 days, to let the parents and the children go free into society with the expectation they show up for court," Short said.

He argued that, for law enforcement reasons, letting the families go free within 20 days was an unacceptable option.

"Eighty percent of those that are coming here illegally never show up for court and are never deported," he said. "We have a crisis at the border. We have a difficult choice. We don't like the binary choice."

It's unclear where Short got his statistic that 80% of the people who come to the US illegally do not show up for court.

The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment about the statistic.

According to the annual Justice Department yearbook of immigration statistics from fiscal year 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, 25% of immigration court cases were decided "in absentia" -- without defendants. In that year, there were 137,875 cases. The number of cases decided "in absentia" between fiscal year 2012 and fiscal year 2016 was between 11% and 28%.

The Trump administration also ended a program last year that was bringing every single one of the undocumented immigrants the program served to court.

The Family Case Management Program, ended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in June 2017, had a 100% attendance record at court hearings and a 99% ICE check-in and appointments record, according to a Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General report.

"According to ICE, overall program compliance for all five regions is an average of 99 percent for ICE check-ins and appointments, as well as 100 percent attendance at court hearings," the report said. "Since the inception of FCMP, 23 out of 954 participants (2 percent) were reported as absconders."

In his interview with Blitzer, Short said the law requires the administration to separate children from their parents when they cross into the country illegally.

However, that's not the case. There is no blanket law requiring all families who cross the border illegally to be separated.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to refer all people who cross the border illegally for criminal prosecution. The practice under past administrations was to refer these cases to the civil courts.

American criminal laws prevent children from being housed in detention facilities with their parents, so bringing these cases into the criminal courts requires them to be separated.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 135372

Reported Deaths: 2406
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34290991
Ramsey14168361
Dakota9897138
Anoka8872150
Washington598672
Stearns588344
Scott342934
Olmsted327730
St. Louis302669
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Clay232843
Nobles227616
Blue Earth20457
Carver18207
Sherburne171122
Kandiyohi17055
Rice164810
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Winona126019
Chisago10402
Crow Wing103522
Lyon9766
Benton9509
Waseca9299
Beltrami9017
Otter Tail8737
Todd8266
Steele7613
Morrison7429
Nicollet73917
Itasca73617
Douglas7083
Freeborn6844
Polk6734
Le Sueur6315
Martin61317
McLeod6024
Goodhue59711
Watonwan5794
Becker5754
Isanti5615
Pine5490
Carlton4441
Chippewa4443
Mille Lacs41315
Hubbard3962
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Wabasha3840
Cass3775
Pipestone35117
Rock3404
Meeker3313
Brown3243
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Murray2833
Cottonwood2820
Redwood28111
Roseau2650
Fillmore2640
Renville25611
Sibley2543
Wadena2393
Faribault2350
Jackson2151
Kanabec21510
Swift2071
Houston2061
Pennington1951
Lincoln1840
Stevens1841
Aitkin1792
Koochiching1704
Pope1610
Big Stone1410
Lac qui Parle1403
Wilkin1374
Marshall1261
Lake1230
Norman1170
Mahnomen1162
Clearwater1140
Grant994
Red Lake782
Traverse570
Lake of the Woods441
Kittson420
Cook170

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 116514

Reported Deaths: 1643
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19024288
Woodbury724797
Johnson586230
Black Hawk562698
Linn5591132
Dubuque521157
Scott456639
Story401018
Dallas346344
Pottawattamie324744
Sioux244716
Buena Vista226112
Marshall202036
Webster184415
Plymouth166728
Wapello153062
Clinton149226
Muscatine147758
Des Moines139610
Cerro Gordo137726
Crawford136114
Warren12617
Carroll115612
Jasper111234
Henry10675
Marion101810
Lee95610
Tama94837
Delaware78013
Dickinson7417
Wright7271
Boone7239
Mahaska69724
Bremer6779
Washington66211
Harrison65815
Jackson6333
Benton5902
Lyon5537
Clay5354
Louisa52315
Winnebago49719
Hardin4777
Winneshiek4779
Hamilton4754
Cedar4746
Kossuth4690
Poweshiek45911
Buchanan4544
Jones4474
Floyd43711
Emmet43019
Clayton4233
Iowa4109
Page4060
Mills4053
Cherokee4032
Sac3994
Guthrie39515
Cass3903
Butler3832
Fayette3814
Franklin38118
Shelby3732
Allamakee3719
Madison3623
Chickasaw3611
Clarke3523
Humboldt3253
Hancock3204
Palo Alto3142
Grundy3115
Calhoun3094
Osceola2851
Mitchell2811
Howard2709
Monroe25911
Monona2451
Taylor2432
Jefferson2391
Union2314
Appanoose2273
Pocahontas2262
Fremont2061
Lucas2056
Ida1932
Greene1870
Van Buren1802
Davis1784
Montgomery1787
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