A new tragic border patrol story circulates every day, ever since the Trump administration launched their cruel zero-tolerance policy for crossing the border illegally. Many have weighed in including politicians—even Melania Trump—and most agree that separating thousands of families at the border is evil and inhumane. Unfortunately, the news only gets worse and triggered hundreds of protestors to descend on a Texas border outpost on Father’s Day.
On Sunday, immigrant advocates along with congressional lawmakers protested right outside a new Texas Border Patrol center in Tornillo, Texas that has detained undocumented immigrants, separating them from their families. According to the Los Angeles Times, 108,000 undocumented immigrants have been caught on in the Texas-Mexico border this year so far with 36% of them being families. Just this week alone we learned about a woman who had her baby taken away from her in the middle of breastfeeding and the heartbreaking story behind a photo of a crying two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker.
The protest march on Sunday in Tornillo, Texas was led by Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke and former El Paso County Judge, Veronica Escobar, who spoke out against the Trump administration’s policy.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re being held in tents as these kids are or if you’re held at a four star hotel. If you’re held without your parents, who fled Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador with you because it was the only chance to save your life, if they traveled thousand of miles, kept you alive and made sure that you could get here and now you’re taken from them, it doesn’t matter where you’re kept, you’re kept without them so on this Father’s Day, it’s important for each one of us to stand up for those kids,” Congressman Beto O’Rourke told MSNBC at the rally.
We're marching to Tornillo, where kids are being sent after they're separated from their parents. Join us tomorrow morning. https://t.co/eFNCC3jjU4 pic.twitter.com/2q5hANIIZ8
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 16, 2018
According to the Department of Homeland Security, nearly 2,000 children have already been separated from their families between April and May. That’s insane. Congressman O’Rourke’s separation point seems to be one the Trump administration either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about. But the truth is, there are damaging psychological effects that impact both parents and kids when they’re separated. In fact, New York Magazine’s The Cut had experts weigh in on how this “off-time life event” can hurt them.
“It goes against the normal expectations a parent might have over the course of that young person’s life,” clinical psychologist Mia Smith-Bynum, a professor of family science at the University of Maryland told The Cut. She explains how damaging forceful separation is, especially when the parent has no power, control or idea if they’ll ever be able to get their child back. She breaks down some of the grief responses they might experience from sadness, despondency, sleeping problems, changes in energy and even “problems keeping up with a daily routine.”
She further explains that “that sense of helplessness” that these parents experience can lead to things like post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional numbness, nightmares and the “inability to stop reliving the separation over and over.” This is every parent’s worse nightmare and it’s insane that the Trump administration sees nothing wrong with it. Something has got to change.