Caitlin Dickerson Investigates ‘Secret History’ of Family Separation

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A Cuban migrant mother gives her daughter water after crossing the border by the wall separating the United States and Mexico, to turn themselves over to authorities on May 13, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona. (Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images)

“Separating children was not just a side effect, but the intent,” writes The Atlantic’s Caitlin Dickerson in her recent investigation of the Trump Administration’s Zero Tolerance policy. Border agents separated more than 5000 migrant children from their families under Zero Tolerance, even as policymakers had no plans in place to adequately shelter, care for or even keep track of the surge in children they knew would fall into U.S. custody. We talk to Dickerson about her 18-month look at the origins of the U.S.’s forced separation policy and the bureaucratic machinery that enabled it.


Caitlin Dickerson, staff writer, The Atlantic - author of the investigation "The Secret History of Family Separation."