You have almost certainly heard something of the Trump Administration separating families at the border of the US and Mexico. If you needed a breakdown of the situation I would recommend this post from PBS where they begin by saying "There is no current law that mandates the separation of families at the U.S. border." But that hasn't stopped the US from separating families, with "a Reuters report published on June 8, 2018, says that nearly 1,800 families have been separated by border agents between October 2016 and February 2018."
To give you some idea on the of the human cost Vox put together a few personal stories and testimonies including that "According to public defenders, immigration agents told some parents that their children were being taken for a bath, or taken briefly for questioning. It took hours for parents to realize their children had really been taken away indefinitely." And the story of "Jacob Soboroff of MSNBC and other journalists toured a Health and Human Services holding facility in which children are kept for an average of six weeks before being placed with sponsors, and reported that the atmosphere felt like a jail and that there were Trump "murals" on the walls."
Another Vox article mentions that there are some cases of immigrant families seeking asylum after presenting themselves to a port of entry (which is legal) siting this ACLU lawsuit. But by and large it seems like undocumented people try and enter the US, some seeking asylum, before the US would hold families in a "immigration detention" but "federal courts stopped the [Obama] administration from holding families for months without justifying the decision to keep them in detention.So most families ended up getting released while their cases were pending — which immigration hawks have derided as "catch and release." In some cases, they disappeared into the US rather than showing up for their court dates… The government's solution has been to prosecute larger numbers of immigrants for illegal entry — including, in a break from previous administrations, large numbers of asylum seekers. That allows the Trump administration to ship children off to ORR, rather than keeping them in immigration detention." (Vox). The ORR being the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Essentially, the Trump administration has gone out of it's way to split up families, and there is no process to reunite them.
And with his newest executive order Trump has done nothing to reunite the families he split apart, and essentially the only change will be if a court approves of holding families together in jail indefinitely.
When you put this in light of the fact that less than 3% of undocumented people have committed felonies, compared to the general population which ranks at 6% of people having committed a felony. Not to mention that deporting undocumented immigrants is estimated to cost between 100 and 300 billion dollars. But undocumented people pay 7 billion in sales and excise tax, 3.6 billion in property tax, and 1.1 billion in income tax. And if we were to remove all undocumented workers, our GDP loss could be up to 74 billion dollars in the manufacturing sector alone. And on top of that, undocumented workers contribute billions into Social Security, without being able to withdraw from social security.
But the reason you should be interested in this, and fight to stop it is not because of economics, but because of our morals. What we are witnessing is a tragedy, an avoidable one. If you have ever read anything about Germany and the rise of Hitler, or FDR starting internment camps, and thought to yourself that if you were there when that happened you would have done something, you would have stopped it, then do something now. For many the damage has been done, research in similar circumstances shows that for "The children, who had been separated from their parents in their first two years of life, scored significantly lower on IQ tests later in life. Their fight-or-flight response system appeared permanently broken. Stressful situations that would usually prompt physiological responses in other people — increased heart rate, sweaty palms — would provoke nothing in the children." We are watching as the US government traumatizes thousands of families. If this makes you want to do something, you can, attend an event near you, by looking here, and look into the only bill in Congress to try and keep families together.
Regardless of your political persuasion, one thing we can all agree on is that tearing families apart is inhumane. Call your representatives, and make sure everyone knows what's going on, so that we can end it.