Separating Kids from Parents Wrong

Posted on May 3, 2018

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Little children cry in frustration because they are in the shelter for unaccompanied children run by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refuge Resettlement.

No parent was there to stop the crying, and no known and trusting adult to rub their backs and soothe their sobs. The staff members at the center try their best, but children writhe on the floor alone.

The children want their mother and father. And the only reason they cannot have their parents is because immigration authorities have forcibly separated them when they crossed the border into the United States. The parents were detained, and the children were turned over to the shelter as “unaccompanied” children.

Since October the federal government has separated more than 700 children from their parents as they entered the United States, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement data. Most of these families have requested asylum.

Officials at the Department of Homeland Security claim they act only “to protect the best interest of minor children.”

But the White House has vocally supported the idea of family separation as a deterrent to keep migrant families from the U.S. border.

Studies overwhelmingly demonstrate irreparable harm caused by breaking up families.

These parents are given two untenable options. They can return with their children to their home country and the conditions that forced them to flee in the first place. Or they can endure being detained sometimes halfway across the country from their children. Contact with the children is limited.

In some cases, parents have been deported, leaving a child behind in government custody.

Members of Congress have spoken out in opposition to this treatment of children. And, yet we know the practice continues.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit requesting a nationwide injunction to reunite families and stop future separations.

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