Oregon AG looking for information on families impacted by border separation

In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, stand in line at a facility in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP)

The Oregon Attorney General is asking for the public's help locating families impacted by the Trump administration's zero-tolerance border policy to separate families at the US-Mexico border.

The Department of Homeland Security says nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s new "zero-tolerance policy," which President Donald Trump defended Monday.

“The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” he said at the White House.

RELATED: Zero-tolerance immigration policy leads to confusion, outrage at southern border

Meanwhile, a handful of humanitarian organizations announced Tuesday they want the practice of family separation halted.

Rose City-based Mercy Corps made a rare move, commenting on domestic policy, saying the policy is inhumane and detrimental to children.

"People on all sides of the political spectrum may respectfully disagree on how best to approach issues of immigration, refugees and asylum-seekers. However, there is no reasonable defense of a 'zero-tolerance' policy that harms innocent children," Chief Executive Officer Neal Keny-Guyer wrote in a statement.

Senior Director Karen Scriven told KATU splitting children from their parents and incarcerating them is traumatic.

"We’ve seen from experience that separating families and profound stress on young people," Scriven said. "[It] really does impact their well-being and their mental health issues."

A bi-partisan group of former U.S. Attorneys wrote and sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday calling for the end of family separation.

Former prosecutor and District of Oregon Attorney Dwight Holton signed the letter.

"The 80 U.S. Attorneys that signed onto this letter with me, together, we enforce thousands upon thousands upon thousands of immigration cases, we never had a blanket policy like this, we never had a policy that requires separation of families by the thousands," Holton told KATU. "It’s abominable, it’s un-American and they should stop it now."

The group believes the country should return to a balanced approach, where each case is reviewed individually.

"What they're doing is treating everyone exactly the same," Holton said. "You’re going to treat a person who has returned to the United States after four deportations differently from someone who shows up from Guatemala with a legitimate claim of asylum."

Oregon's attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, said the state would like to hear from families whose loved ones have been separated, or whose children have been separated from their families at the border.

"Right now, we have very limited information about who is impacted by the Trump administration's cruel decision to separate children from their families once they cross the border into the U.S. We do not know where these children are going, and we do not know the full extent of who is being impacted," Rosenblum said in a news release. "If you believe your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or other family members have been separated, we want to hear from you. Or, if you know of any children who have been separated from their families and are coming to Oregon, we want to hear from you. The more accurate information we have, the better we are able to assess our legal options."

Rosenblum also joined 20 other attorneys general in writing a letter to Jeff Sessions and Kirstjen Nielsen, asking for the "zero-tolerance" policy to be immediately ended.

If you have any information, you can call the attorney general's office at 503-378-6002.

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