A young South America boy was so traumatized after being forcefully separated from his family that he attempted to jump out of a second-story window, according to a lawsuit filed by attorney generals of 18 states, including Washington, D.C., against the Trump administration.
The boy said he wanted to because he missed his parents. Twelve other young immigrant children had to be hospitalized in New York City hospitals for physical and mental illnesses. Some of the distraught kids were treated for anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts. In New York, many children who have been taken away from parents are unable to speak, including toddlers and one 9-month-old baby.
The lawsuit aims to force the federal government to reunite families that have been sundered apart and permanently stop family separations. It says the zero-tolerance policy against immigration is unconstitutional and “irrationally discriminately.” It also accused the Trump administration of undermining the safety, health and mental well-being of the children by causing them “severe, intentional and permanent trauma.”
“President Trump’s indifference towards the human rights of the children and parents who have been ripped away from one another is chilling,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “The safety, security and well-being of our children is too important to be threatened by a heartless political maneuver.”
Reports have found that phone numbers given to migrant parents were unresponsive or left unanswered. In some places, migrant children had to pay per minute to talk to their parents on the phone.
Although the Trump administration claims the children are being well taken care of, a recently released video of ten Central American children crying for their parents, tell a different story.
One staffer at a detention center also reportedly threatened children with the words, “If, for whatever reason, you tell a reporter [about your situation here]… then one doesn’t know what’s going to happen — if you’re going to last here a long time. I’m not trying to scare you, I’m just telling you — it’s the truth.”
The lawsuit claimed even children who live in foster care were given more rights than immigrant children and are provided regular visitation rights even when their parents are jailed.
The government has said it has already reunited 500 children with their families; however Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Congress Tuesday that 2,047 children were still being held by the office.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters