Padilla was interviewed Monday on TV’s “CBS This Morning.”
“We created this situation by not doing anything,” he said.
But Padilla cautioned many of the reports concerning separations are totally false.
“There’s a story of a child being removed from a breast-feeding mother,” he said. “Absolutely not true.”
Asked about a claim that some parents were told their children were being taken away just for a bath and never returned, Padilla said: “Very respectfully, that’s misinformation that is out there.
“Every family member gets a sheet with information to keep track of their child – to get information where their child is. We have a sheet that we give out to the parents. There’s an information sheet that explains the entire process: You violated the law. You are going to go through the judicial process. While you’re going through this process, you are going to be temporarily separated from your child and reunited at the point where you serve your sentence.”
Padilla said the number of families affected in his sector could double.
He noted agents had separated 568 parents from kids since April 6. That number represents only half of the parents who could be prosecuted, the newspaper said.
“We are trying to build to 100 percent prosecution of everybody that is eligible,” he said. “We are not there yet, but that is our intent.”