For hundreds of parents separated from their children by the Trump administration, the prospects for reunification have gone from bad to worse.

After cruelly ripping families apart, the Trump administration now admits that the parents of 463 children may have already been deported while their children remain in government custody.

This means that the prospects for reunifying these children with their parents are significantly worse than previously believed.

In a break with previous U.S. policy, the Trump administration decided to criminally prosecute all border crossers. Because that meant sending migrants to federal detention, where children cannot be held, the Trump administration has taken children away from their parents and held them in separate facilities.

The administration was ordered by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw to reunite all separated children with their parents by Thursday.

To comply with this order, attorneys for the Justice Department submitted a filing this week with an update on the status of reunification.

Of the estimated 2,551 children who were separated from their parents, the administration estimates that just 879 have been reunited with their families — and that the parents of 463 others may have already been deported.

The forced separation experienced by hundreds of families was bad enough. But now Trump’s cruel deportations have made a bad situation worse.

Trump’s blatant racism against Latin American migrants has led him to push for a “deportation force” — and the harsh results have been a disaster.

Trump’s family separation policy doesn’t even accomplish its goal of deterring immigration — but that hasn’t stopped Attorney General Jeff Sessions from making up numbers to lie and say that it does.

Thanks to Trump’s unthinkable cruelty, hundreds of parents and children may never see each other again.

Published with permission of The American Independent.