The Sad State of Family Separation Today – An Update

The Sad State of Family Separation Today – An Update
By Maryann Vazquez

Bedlam at the Border.  That’s what I am calling our current immigration situation.

And that bedlam makes it impossible to gain a clear, detailed picture of what has happened and is continuing to happen.  Even writing this article became difficult because the narrative of immigrant family separation kept changing; how could I even start a story that could be moot by morning?  How many families have been reunited? How many parents have left the country with their children still in custody? Charges of child abuse, sexual abuse have been presented in court. The Washington Post reported that there were violations of state child welfare laws.

On June 26 a federal judge in California ordered federal officials to stop separating parents from their minor children, unless the parent is deemed unfit. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the government to reunite nearly all children under age five within 14 days, and older children with 30 days. I cannot even find an accurate number of children that have been returned – it is different with every single source. It is maddening!!!

The Trump Administration even argued in court that the ACLU, not the government, should work to reunite all the families!  Thankfully, the judge rejected this idea, placing the responsibility – and the fault – directly on the shoulders of the government, where it belongs.

One article in the Texas Tribune states that, according to information from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, “the number of children held at Texas facilities for child migrants has grown to 5,024 as of July 13 up from 4,919 on June 21.” The shelter numbers continue to grow despite the hundreds of children reunified with their parents. The facilities continue to request more beds, all at tax-payer expense. 

For the children in custody, government officials add more to the bedlam by administering drugs to them. The Washington Post reported on court filings showing that” The staff U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement of would not tell them what drugs they were being given or why.” A Federal judge ordered government officials to stop giving psychotropic drugs to children without the parents’ consent.

ProPublica detailed sexual abuse and misconduct in facilities. In addition, there is a case of a six year old female that has been sexually abused by one of her caretakers. A Los Angeles judge has appointed an independent monitor to investigate.

It is true that the government suspended the family separation, but not the “zero-tolerance” policy That is still in place, and it has not deterred the number of refugees trying to enter the U.S. In July alone, almost 9,300 people were arrested at the border, which is roughly just a few hundred down from the previous four months. Clearly, there is no indication the Trump administration’s hard stance on immigration has been an effective deterrent to those seeking to come to the United States looking for a better life. These people are desperate and will do anything to save their children and themselves.

This is not a reality show, 45! This has real life consequences for peoples’ lives. I just ask the question: Have you and your administration lost your Humanity?

This is not a reality show 45! This has real life consequences to in peoples lives. I just ask the question. Have you and your administration lost your Humanity?