As of July 10, about 54 immigrant children under the age of five are to be returned to their families. Roughly half of the 102 toddlers separated, the Trump administration has allegedly lost track of the remaining 48 children and are not sure when they will be released. While this is the beginning of a happy ending for these immigrant families, the government has a lot of reparations to make before this crisis is solved.
There are still thousands of children located in "detention centers": a remodeled Wal-Mart complete with tin foil blankets, murals of President Trump, jumpsuit uniforms, and abuse allegations. Older children are taking care of younger ones, and there are reports that children are being drugged to calm them. Some news outlets are even reporting attempted suicide.
Recently, President Trump petitioned a federal judge to alter a legal statement to keep children detained for longer periods of time in these hellish conditions. The judge denied, calling the arguments of the administration "tortured."
In a recent video published online, an immigrant mother becomes reunited with her daughter. The pair was separated for over two months. Arrested for crossing the border to enter America, the mother claims she left her home due to domestic abuse. She was told "Happy Mother's Day" and informed she would never see her daughter again. Now, her daughter walks into the room, dressed in a small grey jumpsuit, and she weeps for joy. The girl's mother sees their freedom as a late birthday gift for her daughter, who turned eight while in detainment.
And yet, the girl is not as emotional as her mother. She is almost herded into the room, and instead of running to her mother, she is instead pulled into a hug, devoid of every "typical" reaction an eight-year-old should have on seeing their mother for the first time in over two months. She is almost zombie-like as her mother kneels, hugging and weeping, grateful to have her daughter back in her care.
Why is the little girl acting the way she is? Are the rumors about drugging true? Is she suffering from trauma? How will this careless treatment by the government impact the rest of her life?
How many more children are in this exact same situation... with some never seeing their parents again?
And for what? Protection of our borders? "Safety?"
Safety on stolen land is not justified.
America is, and always will be, a land of immigrants. It's time we give modern immigrants the rights and protections bestowed to our (white) ancestors.
These children are in inhuman conditions, separated from their parents, and yet they are being told that they put themselves in their current situation. They are the ones that decided to commit a "crime" and cross the border.
Is seeking a haven a crime? It used to have a different name: "The American Dream." These children are suffering for a crime they didn't commit.
What if it was your child? What if it was you?