When it comes to undocumented immigrants, our government has been particularly brutal—especially since the Trump administration came into power. Over the past few months, our news feeds have been flooded with stories about Latinos—undocumented or not—being discriminated and border patrol officers acting completely out of line. Now CNN reports that an undocumented woman from Honduras, who was detained at the border for entering the U.S. illegally, had her baby taken away and separated from her while she was breastfeeding. If that’s not cruel—I don’t know what is anymore!
The woman who has remained unnamed, had been detained under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy for crossing the border illegally. She was awaiting federal prosecution when her baby was suddenly removed from her. The woman tried to fight it but the second she did, she was handcuffed.
This might seem like a dramatic anecdote but more and more stories like this have been popping up lately, especially since the zero-tolerance policy was announced in May. A Honduran father who had crossed the border illegally with his family killed himself at a Texas jail after being separated from his wife and child.
According to reports, around 500 children have already been separated from their parents who crossed the border illegally in just the last month. Not only are they not even told where their children are being taken, but in many instances they don’t see them again.
If you have any doubts that this is intentionally what the administration is doing, all you have to do is read the announcement attorney general Jeff Sessions made last month.
“So, if you cross the border unlawfully, even at first offense, we’re going to prosecute you,” Sessions said at a gathering of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies. “If you’re smuggling a child, we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don’t want your child to be separated , then don’t bring them across the border illegally.”
The federal government has also done a terrible job at actually keeping track of where these kids wind up. In case you didn’t hear, a few weeks ago it was reported that the U.S. had lost track of over 1,500 undocumented immigrant children. Despite the fact that they had placed these children in homes of sponsors, apparently they weren’t able to actually track them down—unbelievable. To make matters worse, they claimed they weren’t actually “legally” responsible for these kids—because you know they aren’t American citizens.
This new policy has been especially traumatic for migrant children, many of who are placed in foster care and don’t always get to see their families again. Just think about the mental and emotional impact this can have not just on parents—but on young kids who don’t even fully comprehend why they’ve been separated from their families.
The administration’s approach to immigration is not just cruel—it’s inhumane.