According to NBC News, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made an announcement regarding an objective to criminally prosecute every single individual that illegally crosses the border earlier this month.
The result? Every parent’s worst nightmare: being forcefully and devastatingly separated from their children.
Public defender Miguel “Andy” Nogueras from McAllen, Texas talked with a woman from Central America who said that she had recently been separated from her child who is a mere five years old.
“Five years old,” said Nogueras to NBC News. “What kind of scars are we creating? The child has to be asking, where’s my mom? And that kid has to be scared. I can’t even fathom.”
Census Bureau data shows that one-third of young children, or 6.7 billion kids, receive care from a non-relative on a regular basis. However, it’s not likely that the CDC was referring to the hundreds of children who were forcefully separated from their parents at the U.S. border. But it’s true: those who have been officially charged with improper entry, which is just a misdemeanor for the first infraction, are being separated from their children every single day.
In the past, additional resources were available to help immigrant parents, and most parents were able to stay with their children while waiting for their deportation proceedings or asylum cases. It’s clear that the Trump administration’s concern — or lack thereof — about ripping children away from their parents is superseded by the ruthless desire to tighten border security.
No, that isn’t an exaggeration. Maureen Franco, a federal public defender for the Western District of Texas, described how one of her lawyers was ‘shaken’ after hearing from a parent whose child was “literally” ripped straight from their arms.
“One of my lawyers came back from meeting his new client at the jail — and this is a very experienced criminal defense lawyer — who was shaken by the experience of talking to a parent whose child was literally ripped from their arms,” she said.
Whether or not you’re a parent, it’s not hard to see why these types of actions are borderline barbaric, to say the least.
“There is something terrible happening here that Americans would not support if they understood it,” said F. Scott McCown, Children’s Rights Clinic director at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
According to NBC News, Nogueras kept returning to one key emotion when describing how these parents have responded to this heartless tragedy: “anguish.”
“Wouldn’t you feel anguish if they took your kids? I’d be going crazy. It’s inhumane,” said Nogueras.