The Prism: Every Side of the Story

Lost Stories: Families Separated at the Border

Children have again been separated from their families at the United States-Mexico border, despite the Trump Administration’s assurance that it would “end [its] practice of separating undocumented families in June.” Under the “zero tolerance” immigration policy, nearly 3,000 immigrant children were separated from their families. The separation of families is a key aspect of the Trump Administration’s plan, hoping that it will “deter migrant families from entering the country,” according to The New York Times.

      The policy was put into place to “prosecute those who entered the United States illegally.” Although this was the purpose of the policy, it resulted in “thousands of migrant parents spending months in agonized uncertainty, unable to communicate with their children and in many cases not knowing where their children are.”

     The children who were separated from their families at the southern border were put into foster homes or shelters for migrant children. These places were “often hundreds or thousands of miles away from where their parents were detained” (The New York Times). Also according to the Times, while they were separated from their parents “the administration also made it difficult for relatives other than the children’s parents to take the children into their own homes.”

     President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that reversed his policy about separating families. The policy was replaced with one that allowed families to stay together. Since Trump’s administration announced that they would end the practice of separating children from their parents, 81 children have reportedly been separated from their families. These separations were said to have occurred because of criminal activity or hospitalization of the parents. In terms of treatment of the children, during the last four years the federal government has received more than 4,500 complaints of sexual abuse to the immigrant children. These complaints contained “detailed allegations that adult staff members had harassed and assaulted children, including fondling and kissing minors, watching them as they showered, and raping them” said The New York Times article titled Thousands of Immigrant Children Said They Were Sexually Abused in U.S. Detention Centers.

  Now the issue still resides in getting the separated families back together. Trump tweeted that he had the same policy as the Obama Administration regarding reuniting families.

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