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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Nearly 500 children remain in the custody of the U.S. government, instead of with their parents, after the Trump administration’s decision to rip families apart.

A new filing in the ongoing litigation between the Justice Department and the ACLU revealed the latest numbers: 497 children are still in government custody, 22 of whom are under the age of 5; 6 of those children are under the age of 4, and they remain stranded because their parents were deported without them; a total 322 parents were deported while their children were being held.

Only 14 children have been reunited with their parents in the week since the last filing in the court. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw originally set a deadline of July 26 for reuniting families. It’s a deadline the Trump administration has still failed to fully comply with.

Sabraw previously said the international familial crisis is “the result of the government’s separation, and then inability and failure to track and reunite.”

In some instances, parents say the government outright deceived them about what would be done with their children.

Agents are accused of using the language barrier to leave the impression with parents that their children would be safe if parental rights were signed over. Instead, the children were taken away and parents deported.

The children being held in U.S. government facilities are experiencing intense trauma at one of the most vulnerable moments in their young lives. But the administration ignored warnings about the harm that would be done to children if they were separated from their families.

Department of Health and Human Services official Commander Jonathan D. White testified at a Senate hearing in July that “over the previous year, we raised a number of concerns … about any policy which would result in family separation due to concerns we had about the best interest of the child.”

Those warnings were ignored as the administration pursued Trump’s bigoted, anti-immigrant agenda.

Now hundreds of children are still being kept from their families, and the administration had demonstrated an astonishing failure to fix the mess it made.

Published with permission of The American Independent.