As of now, there have already been about 2,000 immigrant children being separated from their parents at the US border, due to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy that “prohibits both attempted illegal entry and illegal entry into the United States by an alien.”
“We’re going to have strong, very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together.”
Just this Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end the separation of immigrant children and their parents, after days of criticizing from Democrats for the immoral action. “We’re going to have strong, very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together,” Trump claimed. Although this looks like a step in the right direction, it barely is, if you look a little closer.
- Firstly, while it stops the separation of immigrant families, the zero-tolerance policy is still here to stay. The policy states that anyone unlawfully and illegally crossing the border will be detained and referred to prosecution in a detention facility. Essentially, instead of it happening to solely children, families altogether will be shoved into detention facilities too. The order has even stated that it is enforcing agencies to start preparing larger facilities that can house families this time, not just the immigrant children.
- The spokesman of HHS, Kenneth Wolfe has stated there will be no special effort planned to reunite the immigrant families that have already been separated. This means 2,000 families will still stay broken and the chances of reuniting would be incredibly slim. Children will stay in the detention facilities, sleeping under foil and caged in a guarded, barbed-wire environment. The order itself does not regard the families already separated, and focuses solely on the future families crossing the US border together.
- As the ‘zero-tolerance’ policy continues and 2,000 immigrant children are still kept in detention facilities, there is no guarantee the child abuse that is occurring in the concentration camps will cease. Children in the facilities have already been subject to verbal mistreatment, sexual assault, drugs, etc. and the executive order did not state that the Trump administration would make efforts to mitigate the reports of alleged abuse in the facilities, which comes as no surprise, since the administration is not making any strides to reunite the separated immigrant families.
Although the executive order seems to have solved a problem, the efforts of the order are as minimum as can be. Many lives are still destroyed and scarred forever because they lack their loved ones by their side. Many of them will continue to face prosecution and serious, brutal mistreatment from the officers as the Trump and the US government continue to stay silent.