Images of children sitting alone in chain-link cages, recordings of their frightened cries, and officials’ mocking reactions generated outrage across the country this summer. The Trump Administration responded by reversing its policy of forcibly separating immigrant families at the border—but what it substituted has been no better: it merely changed the way children are harmed.
These more recent measures include moving to permit indefinite family detention, creating procedures that have led to a sharp increase in the detention of unaccompanied children, and reversing established rules for asylum under US law. According to the New York Times, the numbers of migrant children in federal shelters have increased fivefold, reaching a total of 12,800 in September compared to 2,400 in custody in May, 2017.
More than 100 children remain separated from their parents despite court orders for their reunification.
Each of these policies damages children, deploying them as pawns to punish people who enter the US irregularly, and as a deterrent to others who might try. And it is taking place at the cost of millions diverted from disaster relief funds, the US Coast Guard, law enforcement training, and other programs.
Read more: Human Rights Watch, https://is.gd/inaWxV