The forced separations do not only hurt the children, they also traumatize the parents.
Courtesy of WaPo:
A Honduran father separated from his wife and child suffered a breakdown at a Texas jail and killed himself in a padded cell last month, according to Border Patrol agents and an incident report filed by sheriff’s deputies.
The death of Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, has not been publicly disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security, and it did not appear in any local news accounts. But according to a copy of a sheriff’s department report obtained by The Washington Post, Muñoz was found on the floor of his cell May 13 in a pool of blood with an item of clothing twisted around his neck.
Starr County sheriff’s deputies recorded the incident as a “suicide in custody.”
Here is where the story gets a little hard to read:
According to Border Patrol agents with detailed knowledge of what occurred, Muñoz crossed the Rio Grande with his wife and 3-year-old son on May 12 near the tiny town of Granjeno, Tex. The area is a popular crossing point for Central American families and teenagers who turn themselves in to apply for asylum in the United States.
Soon after Muñoz and his family were taken into custody, they arrived at a processing station in nearby McAllen and said they wanted to apply for asylum. Border Patrol agents told the family they would be separated. That’s when Muñoz “lost it,” according to one agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the incident.
“The guy lost his s—,” the agent said. “They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands.”
Muñoz was inconsolable and started to hit walls and pull at the fencing in the detention center, so they moved him to a local jail.
On the way, Muñoz tried to escape, and once in a padded cell continued to be combative, until finally calming down after which he was observed praying in a corner.
At some point, he was discovered dead, with clothing wrapped around his throat.
These are human beings.
They spend weeks crossing inhospitable, dangerous terrain while trying desperately to protect their families, only to arrive here and have their children literally torn from their arms.
I have to tell you that I do not think my reaction would be that much different from Mr. Muñoz.
Who have we become?