President Donald Trump has been openly against undocumented immigrants, falsely claiming that they don’t pay taxes and citing them as the reason for increasing crime rates in the country. However, none of these claims are true.
Yet, undocumented immigrants still suffer at the hands of the Trump administration.
In a new report by The New York Times, a “horrific” number of over 700 children were separated from their parents at the U.S. border over the past six months, all thanks to Homeland Security and immigration agents.
Some 100 children cruelly separated from their parents were believed to be under the age of 4.
The Trump administration claimed earlier, families were separated to deter migrants from entering the country. However, officials denied commenting after Congress inquired about the number of families separated.
The treatment of immigrant children by the ICE agents isn’t new. However they kept the public in dark and suggested that the number of families separated was relatively low.
A class action lawsuit was filed against the U.S. government by the American Civil Liberties Union for separating parents from children while the families searched for asylum. As per the lawsuit, immigration attorneys identified 429 cases of separating families at the border.
According to Homeland Security officials, families are not separated to deter illegal immigration.
“As required by law, DHS must protect the best interests of minor children crossing our borders, and occasionally this results in separating children from an adult they are traveling with if we cannot ascertain the parental relationship, or if we think the child is otherwise in danger,” a spokesman stated.
The children torn apart from their parents are reportedly then taken to shelters operated by nongovernmental organizations, where workers look for a relative or guardian in the United States who can look after the children, separated from their parents. But if no one is identified, the children have no choice but to stay in the shelter system for an indefinite period.
“The idea of punishing parents who are trying to save their children’s lives, and punishing children for being brought to safety by their parents by separating them, is fundamentally cruel and un-American,” said Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission.
“It really to me is just a horrific ‘Sophie’s Choice’ for a mom,” she added.
The report acknowledges there have been such cases where adult migrants fraudulently used children not even related to them as their own children to get lenient treatment at the border. However, even groups that do not support leniency for immigrants and are supportive of stricter immigration policies, don’t endorse a family separation policy and suggest separation should be used as a last resort.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson