As of today, more than 500 children remain in federal custody, having been separated from their parents by the Trump administration. Most of their parents were subsequently deported. The Trump administration, which fully mobilized to separate nearly 3,000 kids from their parents, refuses to fully mobilize to reunite those families.
The institutional cruelty is difficult to fathom. Over many months, thousands of U.S. government employees worked day and night to design and implement a policy of taking kids, including infants and toddler, away from their parents. They did so on purpose. Their objective was to deter future asylum-seekers.
Undoubtedly, these government employees – employed by the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, the Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement – think of themselves as patriotic. Many have families with young children. And yet, they went to work every day and willingly participated in the kidnapping of young children, the spiriting of these children to secretive shelters around the country, the deception that tricked separated parents into signing deportation documents, and the forcible removal of these parents to the violent countries they fled – without their young children.
And now, these same officials and employees drag their feet, make excuses and go home at the end of the day to their loved ones as more than 500 little kids remain separated and traumatized. Did any speak up, blow the whistle, protest or quit? None that we know of. Yet, they are responsible for one of the darkest chapters in American history.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice.