The Trump administration has finally announced the fate of thousands of babies and young children that have been ripped away from their parents. The babies are being held in three so-called “tender age” shelters in southern Texas. There are already plans to open a fourth one in Houston, which is opposed by city leaders.
Last night, the Associated Press reported that babies separated from their parents are bing held in special detention centers in southern Texas.
The young children are being held in centers in Combes, Raymondville and Brownsville, Texas. The centers are specifically designed to hold the youngest migrants detained at the border under President Trump’s new immigration policy. The policy was announced on May 7 and requires all families be separated at the border.
The news of “tender age” shelters is drawing outrage from politicians in both parties.
The Trump administration has reached a new low by building “Infant Detention Centers” for the youngest children being taken from their parents. -AJ https://t.co/SpiWNJqwZg
— Andrew Janz (@JanzforCongress) June 20, 2018
Yet, immigration officials claim the facilities and policy are not inhumane.
“We have specialized facilities that are devoted to providing care to children with special needs and tender age children as we define as under 13 would fall into that category,” Steven Wagner, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) told the Associated Press. “They’re not government facilities per se, and they have very well-trained clinicians, and those facilities meet state licensing standards for child welfare agencies, and they’re staffed by people who know how to deal with the needs — particularly of the younger children.”
Experts say the trauma of separating children from their families is similar to child abuse.
I tried to explain to my 7 year old why kids his age and younger are in detention centers without their parents. He asked “did they do something bad?” https://t.co/reqMzVYwxE
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 20, 2018
A Quinnipiac University poll found that American voters oppose Trump’s family separation policy 66 percent to 27 percent. Republican voters support the policy 55 percent to 35 percent.
There have been protests nationwide calling for President Trump to end the policy of separating families.
Thousands marched to the Tornillo, tent city — a makeshift detention center — in El Paso, Texas, where undocumented kids are held on Father’s Day.
President Trump falsely claims that Democrats are responsible for the law that allows for families to be separated. However, there is no such law in effect. The act of separating families is a direct result of Trump’s new immigration policy.
“This is inhumane. This is cruel,” Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke said at the march in Tornillo, according to KFOX. “This is torture. To take a child from that mother, from that father, who literally risked all, including their lives, to bring them to safety, fleeing horrific violence.”
Aside from politicians, there were lots of families in attendance demanding the government stop their policy of separating families at the border.
— Sally Beauvais (@sallybeauv) June 17, 2018
Democrats have introduced several bills that would ban the government from separating families — including 3036 – Keep Families Together Act; R. 2572 – Protect Family Values at the Border Act; 5950/S.2937 – HELP Separated Children Act; and the 2043/S. 2468 – Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2018 — politicians said it’s important for people to express how they feel about this issue.
Despite outcry from the general public and democrats, the Trump Administration has not backed down from their zero tolerance policy when it comes to separating families.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said they are just doing their “job.”
“We will not apologize for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does for doing the job that the American people expect us to do,” Nielsen said at the National Sheriffs’ Association, according to CNN. “Illegal actions have and must have consequences. No more free passes, no more get out of jail free cards.”