Jorge Duenes / Reuters

Nearly 2,000 immigrant children have been separated from their families at the southern U.S. border, according to the federal government. As The Atlantic’s Krishnadev Calamur wrote, the wave of news stories about those separations has prompted a “national moral reckoning” over the Trump administration’s hard line on immigration. Reports describe children being held in cages and reveal audio of the cries of children in detention facilities. How did we get here, and how likely is it to stop? We asked Krishnadev for his analysis, and turned to Atlantic archives for a historical perspective.


“It Is Very Hard to Predict What Is Going to Happen”

A reporter walks us through what he knows—and doesn’t know—about the separation of migrant families.

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