Trump Administration Separates Immigrant Families at the US Border

Families seeking asylum and fleeing violence from countries south of the border are facing increased scrutiny from border patrol. In fact, immigrant families are now being separated and young children are being kept away from their parents while they are detained in the United States. This practice has damaged many families and is leaving young children traumatized.

In the month of May, the number of immigrant children being held by the U.S. government spiked by more than 20%, totaling 10,773. The amount of children that have been detained has increased so much that government agencies are running out of space to shelter them. It is still not clear how many of those detained attempted to cross on their own or how many were taken from their parents at the border. The average time that these children spend in custody has risen to 2 months.

The ACLU also found cases where families who properly presented themselves at asylum entry points were still forced to separate. In an ACLU affidavit that challenges the practice of separating immigrant families, child psychologist Lee Carter wrote, “Forcibly separating a child from their parent is nothing short of overwhelming and deleterious to their well-being — emotionally, physically and spiritually."

Officials from Homeland Security have denied that this cruel method of border enforcement is a means to deter illegal immigrants from coming to the United States. Instead, they say separating immigrant families is an unfortunate consequence of enforcing the law. When announcing a zero tolerance prosecution policy for illegal immigration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “if you don't want your child separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally."

This practice has raised many concerns about how parents are being reunited with their children after they have been released. A federal judge is currently reviewing if the separations we have described violate federal laws regarding the best interest of a child.

The Trump administration has suggested that measures to end family separations might be taken if Congress funds the border wall that Trump wants to erect to restrict illegal immigration.

Have you or a loved one been detained by ICE? Contact our team of San Jose immigration lawyers to request a consultation today.