Family separations continue at a horrific rate, despite court order
Aug 19, 2019 —
The ACLU recently reported that more than 900 migrant and refugee children have been separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border since U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered on June 26, 2018 the reunification of families forced apart under the Zero Tolerance policy.
Approximately 20 percent of these new separations involved children under 5 years old.
While Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has previously stated that family separations are “extraordinarily rare” and occur only when “in the interest of the child,” the federal government continues to separate families for reasons that are unclear, or for minor or unsubstantiated charges unrelated to a safety risk to the child. For example:
- A 6-year-old child was separated from his father for reasons that remain unclear but may have been due to a language barrier in communicating with CBP about the father’s relationship to the child, as the father and child both speak an indigenous language.
- Three young sisters, who had fled threats in their home country, were separated from their father on account of his HIV positive status. The father was deported a month later.
Regretfully, cases such as these are neither extraordinarily rare nor in the best interests of children. They are devastating and alarming. The continued and forced separation of children from their parents poses far-reaching effects for children. Child advocates and medical professionals have repeatedly warned that such separations can have lasting and severe physical, psychological, and emotional consequences for children.
We must demand that no child be separated from a parent in the absence of a risk to the child. We MUST care about these children. Join us in calling on DHS to stop separating families.
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