The Trump administration detained an unprecedented 69,9550 migrant children in 2019, an increase in some 42 per cent from the previous year, official data shows. In line with Donald Trump’s family separation policy, more children were detained away from their parents in the US this year than in any other country on Earth, according to UN researchers. Under the administration’s strict immigration policies, children also spent more time in detention and away from their family than in previous years, despite the government’s own acknowledgement that it can cause them serious harm.
A few months after Mr Trump took office, the federal agency was caring for about 2,700 children, reuniting them with awaiting relatives or sponsors within about a month. This June, that topped 13,000, and they stayed in custody for about two months. “There was despair everywhere,” said one Honduran teenager detained for four months before reuniting with his mother. “There was something there that made us feel desperate. It was freedom. We wanted to be free.”
Another young Honduran, detained when he was 16 for more than a year, said he saw his peers harm themselves as a result: “They would cry sometimes, alone, or they would hit themselves against the wall. I thought that was because of them being here for such a long time.”
Read more: Andy Gregory, Independent, https://is.gd/nrYFPr