What You Need to Know About Parent/Child Border Separation + 4 Ways to Help

In April, the Trump administration issued a Zero-Tolerance Policy for criminal illegal entry into the United States.

This was a renewed commitment to criminal immigration enforcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and as part of the announcement, he directed federal prosecutors to prioritize the prosecution of criminal immigration offenses.

This policy applies to all adults crossing the border, regardless of whether or not they have children with them. As a result, since the justice department can’t prosecute children, they have begun separating them from their parents.

 

Source: NPR

Source: NPR

 

“If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border. It’s not our fault that somebody does that,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a speech after implementing the new policy.

Nearly 2,000 immigrant children were separated from their parents from April 19 to the end of May, according to the Department of Homeland Security— which is about 46 children per day.

The parents of the children are being prosecuted, and if convicted, could be deported. So, parents could be deported back to their home country while their children are still being held in facilities in the United States. Photos have surfaced of an immigration processing center in McAllen, Texas, (the largest processing center in the country,) of children sleeping on mattresses on cement floors with mylar blankets.

Another center, Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas, which used to be Wal-Mart, is currently holding almost 1,500 immigrant children.

 

Source:76102

 

Children are also being housed in a ‘Tent City,’ a series of tents enclosed by chain-linked fences topped with barbed wire, in Tornillo, Texas. Photos of the facility were taken on June 18, including pictures of dozens of boys walking between tents, lined up outside portable toilets in the facility, and playing soccer outside.

While the tents reportedly have air conditioning, the temperature in Tornillo this supposed to reach 106 ℉ on Friday.

Currently, 360 children between the ages of 13 and 17 are estimated to be living in ‘Tent City,’ but up to 4,000 could be kept there in the future, according to U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, who represents the area.

Many parents don’t know where their children are, or when they will be reunited with them. After they are held in processing centers, the Department of Homeland Security transfers the children to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). They spend time at an ORR shelter before they’re placed with a sponsor in the United States, approximately 85 percent of which are parents or relatives who were already in the country. Children who have no parents or relatives in the country spend more time in shelters while a sponsor is found, according to the Washington Post. This means that children could be living in a country where their parent has already been deported.

The harsh new policy of separating children from their families is being used to try to deter immigrants from trying to cross the border, by making them fear being separated from their children.

 

Source: Report Eyes

 

Party affiliation and political preferences aside, here at The Everygirl, we believe that tearing children from their families is unacceptable, and we are doing everything we can to stop it.

 

Here are four things that you can do to take action, too:

 

1. Call Congress

Calling your representatives and clearly expressing disapproval for the Zero-Tolerance Policy is one of the simplest ways to get your voices heard. If you haven’t called a representative before, (or if you don’t even know who your representative might be), you can find them here. When you call, it’s best to be as specific as possible by knowing exactly what you’re calling about and what bills to mention. Make sure to only call the representatives for the district where you live, as they need to hear from their own constituents, who are the ones who vote them into office, and have the power to vote them out.

 

2. Donate

There are many organizations you can donate to to help better separated family’s situations, and in many cases, to help their voices get heard.

 

3. Sign a Petition

Signing a petition can help use your voice to not accept the current situation at the border. There are many going around the internet, but here are three you can start with. All of them are addressed to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen.

 

4. Stay Informed

With the Trump administration’s war against the media and “fake news” being claimed at every article and news segment, it can be tough to figure out the truth, and who’s to blame for the current situation. Staying informed on border separation by reading articles by reliable newspapers (many of which now provide fact-checks and proof against what politicians are saying), can help you know what’s going on, and ensures that you’re not being distracted from what’s really happening.

  • thank you for this, especially the actionable steps to take! it’s so easy to feel discouraged when reading the news and feel like there is no way to help.

  • Luisa

    This breaks my heart in so many pieces I just can’t figure out how someone can do something like this. Having lived in a border for most of my life, I only wish that I was back there so that I could be of help to all of these kids and bring them some sort of comfort 🙁 I hope that we can all make a difference together and end this!

  • As someone living across the pond, I’m not sure how this policy will actually work in the long run. It doesn’t sound as if enough thought was put in. Not to mention that separating children from their families gives me the chills…

  • Amy

    This policy was started AND reported on during the Obama Administration which your article failed to mention – but you only care to be outraged about it now, when Trump is in office? Most of these kids had parents who sent them there ALONE. The Everygirl has turned into such liberal, virtue-signaling trash. If we wanted to read constant anti-Trump rhetoric then we’d go to CNN. Don’t act like you report the facts when you just “happen” to leave out any info that would put some blame on Democrats too.

    • Anna

      This fails to mention that 10k out of the 12k children held were brought to the border by individuals who were not parents. This is the byproduct of an anti trafficking bill signed in 2008 and a policy followed by the Obama administration. This morning senator Schumer announced that the democrats are rejecting a bill proposed that would address this crisis and keep families together at the border, proving once again they are only interested in exploiting this crisis for political gain.

      • Emily

        They’re rejecting it because the bill also is forcing funding for the stupid wall. Republicans are holding children hostage for a wall. Don’t pretend that the GOP or this administration has morals.

    • Actually, the Zero-Tolerance Policy is new. The housing of immigrant children in facilities is not, no. But most people didn’t even know this was happening in their borders until now and it doesn’t matter which political party is the driving force behind these atrocities – the fact remains that it IS an atrocity. And should be brought to people’s attention….

      So….Amy, since you’re so anti-Liberal, how much protesting did YOU personally do when this stuff was happening under Obama? How much did YOU care about the trauma of immigrant children when it wasn’t your elected official in office?

      Pot meet kettle.

  • Valeria Roa

    Casa Padre is the name of the facility in Brownsville, TX – it is NOT an actual city in the state of Texas. Please revise this article @theeverygirl @MadelineGalassi

  • Thank your for sharing this, but it should also be noted that this is happening to families that are coming here to seek asylum as well, which is a perfectly legal procedure in the United States, not just to immigrant families crossing without documentation.

  • Alex

    Don’t forget #5: VOTE.

  • Nicole

    Taking action is the way to go, as it’s very disheartening to see the images; however the photos above are from the Obama Adminstration (where a judge said these children were living in horrible conditions). Knowledge is key. See for yourself: http://dailycaller.com/2018/06/19/photos-obama-immigration-detention-facilities/