Unprecedented Cruelty Against Immigrants and Their Children

Photo: Bill Hackwell

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions tightened US immigration policy on April 6 by issuing a “zero tolerance” order against those trying to enter the country without papers, even for those seeking asylum from domestic abuse and violence, 2000 children have been ripped out of their parents’ arms by immigration agents including toddlers and breast feeding babies. Many of these parents do not know where their children are nor do the children know where their parents are.

Recently White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly backed up the policy when he explained that, “the children will be put in foster care or whatever.” This comes at the same time as a new report revealed that there are some 1,500 undocumented children, who have been placed by federal authorities in homes of “sponsors,” and are now missing in the system.

No other country has a policy of separating families who intend to seek asylum. “What the US is doing now, there is no equivalent,” said Michael Flynn, executive director of the Geneva-based Global Detention Project, a non-profit group focused on the rights of detained immigrants. “There’s nothing like this anywhere”.

Currently there are 140 detention centers in 14 states for the some 10,000 unacompanied immigrant children now held in the United States. These facilities are over flowing with many of the children being placed in jail holding pens or in tent complexes in the blistering heat of Texas and Arizona. A…

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