Community advocates and researchers, through anecdotal and empirical studies, exposed two main causes of this problem. One, federal boarding school programs heavily encouraged the separation of native families and enrolled a significant number of indigenous children. Two, culturally insensitive child welfare laws at the regional level were used to remove thousands of native children from their homes, at a rate alarmingly higher than non-native children were being removed. The affect of the situation to indigenous nations, who were losing children by the thousands, was essentially cultural genocide. Exposure of the problem and its causes imposed strong pressure on the United States government to address native child welfare law. In response, the United States Congress enacted the federal Indian Child Welfare Act ("ICWA").