More migrant children separated from parents at border than previously believed

The "horror of family separation is yet unknown," Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, said.
5:08 | 01/18/19

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Transcript for More migrant children separated from parents at border than previously believed
What a turn next to congresswoman product Escobar of Texas Democrat who represents not only border region. But is also on the House Judiciary Committee now congresswoman it's good to have you with us are you confident. Based on the latest report from health and human services that you now know the full story about Stanley separation of the border. Hi Aaron good morning thank you so much for having me on I have app Billy not confident I think. That he death the corner farm in preparation is yet unknown. I won't tell you guard but the apparent Al paso. Last summer. We were sounding the alarm to. The leader legislators reporters. That we give any numbers that we're being shared with the country. About the number of families separated. At that was an underestimation. And we used that. Because the county came started. In April of last year but we knew that I don't half though the family separation and practice. Began. This summer before that in superintendent July 27 he. Do we knew that the numbers are greater and we kept asking for information be kept asking for transparency. Of course none of that happened I think that it will hate. The oversight. Of the Judiciary Committee and other committees now that the Democrats have controlled the house. You really fully understand the magnitude. What what what happened under the trump administration and the separation policy. It was almost paradoxical though in in pushing to end the policy of family separation. It seemed to have the effect. Potential immigrants. Bringing more children. To the border realizing now that the United States would no longer separate families so how do you prevent that and how what's the what's the remedy here. That's a great question and we. They're huge challenges that we face our country number one so long term challenged because I can't tell you I would agree. That the current state of affairs is unsustainable. We have been seeing family. Seeking Asylum. Leaving their home countries in the northern trying oak. For at least four years so different he not been able we got to deal with. What's happening in Central America or this won't not stop and in fact. Would it climate change like other challenges. That the number of asylum seeking families will only continue to grow if we continue to sit on our hands. But then there's also the short term challenges. That the trumpet administration has chose then to address the short term shouted with incompetent and cruelty. That the Department of Homeland Security is one of in fact it had it gets more money and all their federal law enforcement agencies combined. It's been unable. To be nimble enough. And strategic cannot adequately deal with any reality on the border which is family he has signed on. So we really have to tackle this situation onto front. And we got to use compassion and and and and we got to recognize that there that there you know that that. But yes there are many many many families sitting across the southern quarter. We often need to have some contact. And I I'd be very curious to see during others surges of asylum feat he. The armed individuals. What have those searches look like and and how to keep the numbers compare and I would be willing that that. It involved the numbers there are a tremendous right now we have seen far more. Asylum seekers in the past. But it it's it's about how we deal with that on the front lines and as you just heard a Walt that they do it don't Walt doesn't change anything. Are you gonna use your position on the Judiciary Committee congresswoman to push. For testimony from secretary Nelson. Absolutely. When might that happen. You know we I just got appointed. You know 48 hours ago and I will tell you chairman Nadler is an incredible leap and he came to the borders he political past so he toured the facilities. He and I have had conversations about about. How we begin to address the situation and and I'll be working closely with Pam and with other leaders earned under medi. To explore the best Japanese but we have to get to the bottom of this what I have we've been spending so much money. To this agency why has it been unable and ill equipped. To deal with the current situation and why their two children die in their custody. And how do we prevent this from happening again. Congresswoman who looks sort of the answers that you're able to provide of the country on this pressing issue congresswoman Veronica Escobar Texas Democrat on the Judiciary Committee our thanks to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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