Nearly 2000 Children Separated From Their Parents At US-Mexico Border Due To Trump's "Zero-Tolerance" Policy
Making headlines and drawing flak and criticism from everywhere in the world, the Donald Trump administration has been separating children from parents, who are crossing the US-Mexico border illegally. This started in April and this “zero-tolerance” policy applies to anyone crossing the border, whether with children or not.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department cannot prosecute children. So, naturally, this has led to an increased family separation. Nearly 2000 children have been separated between April and May, reported Washington Post.
“State-sponsored human rights abuse”
This “zero-tolerance” policy was implemented by the Trump administration and can be repealed by them. According to the policy, anyone crossing the US-Mexico border would be prosecuted. As children cannot be held in an adult jail, they are held separately.
Initially, authorities did not allow photos or videos to be taken inside the centre, but US Customs and Border Protection later released several images out of the places where the children are being detained. The Texas facility is called Ursula. The immigrants are calling it La Perrera – dog kennel in Spanish because of the cages the children are forced to stay in.
“One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips [crisps] and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets,” the Associated Press reports, as quoted by BBC. After these pictures surfaced, politicians, human rights activists and even former first ladies criticised Trump.
Former First Lady Laura Bush has compared it to the internment camps used for Japanese-Americans during World War II. To this criticism, the POTUS tweeted “We must always arrest people coming into our Country illegally. Of the 12,000 children, 10,000 are being sent by their parents on a very dangerous trip, and only 2000 are with their parents, many of whom have tried to enter our Country illegally on numerous occasions.”
We must always arrest people coming into our Country illegally. Of the 12,000 children, 10,000 are being sent by their parents on a very dangerous trip, and only 2000 are with their parents, many of whom have tried to enter our Country illegally on numerous occasions.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2018
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said that the President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump had visited her father on June 19, asking him to put an end to this separation. “She offered the President her support and she said she would talk to any member of Congress to help find a legislative solution to the issue,” Gidley said, reported CNN. She has herself not made any public statement regarding the issue. It is said that she had urged her father against the separation policy.
Since 2014, hundreds of thousands of families have fled to the US because of rampant violence due to gang activities in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. US laws provide asylum or refugee status to qualified applicants. The Trump administration is of the opinion that these laws are being misused by smugglers and bad actors.
The government says that they have detected hundreds of cases of fraud among migrants travelling with children who are not their own. Trump wants to fill these loopholes in this humanitarian relief that the US offers.
This refugee crisis started during the Obama administration and rolled into the Trump one. Both have a very different approach to the crisis. While the Justice Department under Obama prioritized the deportation of ‘dangerous’ people, Trump believes in deporting everyone.