WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his aides were the “driving force” behind the separation of thousands of migrant families in 2017 and 2018, pushing for the policy’s implementation even as federal prosecutors raised concerns about the young age of some of the children, according to a report released by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog.

A 93-page report published on Thursday by the Justice Department’s Inspector General found that Sessions and top aides, including his counselor Gene Hamilton, failed to coordinate with U.S. prosecutors, the U.S. Marshals Service and shelters before ordering the “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all adults who crossed the southern border without legal permission, including those traveling with their children.

“We concluded that the Department’s single-minded focus on increasing immigration prosecutions came at the expense of careful and appropriate consideration of the impact of family unit prosecutions and child separations,” the report said.

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