The numbers have just been tallied from the first comprehensive disclosure by the Trump administration of how many families have been affected by his draconian border enforcement policies.
A senior government official has reported that nearly 1,800 immigrant families have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border from October 2016 through February of this year.
The government official, who agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the number of separations has risen sharply in recent weeks.
This surge is directly related to Trump's new "zero tolerance" policy announced in May by his Attorney General Jeff Sessions which stated all those apprehended entering the United States illegally would be criminally charged.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official who testified in front of Congress last month, 658 children were separated from 638 parents between the May 6th and May 19th due to the stepped-up prosecutions.
That brings the total of officially acknowledged separations to more than 2,400, not including recent weeks or the period from March 1 to May 6.
The administration has defended its actions claiming their only objective is to protect children but nevertheless citing that illegal border crossers will be prosecuted regardless of their family circumstances.
The bulk of the separations involved Central Americans who presented themselves to border patrol agents asking for asylum because they feared the violence at home.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is presently suing the Trump administration on behalf of an asylum seeking mother who turned herself in to border guards in California only to have her 7-year-old daughter taken from her and held in government custody more than 2,000 miles away in Chicago for months.
On Friday, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with 26 other Democrats and two independents introduced a bill that would put new limits on federal law enforcement’s ability to separate immigrant children from their families unless a court decides that would be best for the child.