I am going to try and get through this without breaking down.
Courtesy of NYT:
An American government escort handed over the 5-year-old child, identified on his travel documents as José, to the American woman whose family was entrusted with caring for him. He refused to take her hand. He did not cry. He was silent on the ride “home.”
The first few nights, he cried himself to sleep. Then it turned into “just moaning and moaning,” said Janice, his foster mother. He recently slept through the night for the first time, though he still insists on tucking the family pictures under his pillow.
José’s separation from his father is part of the Trump administration’s latest and most widely debated border enforcement policy. Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the government would criminally prosecute everyone who crosses the border illegally, a directive that is already leading to the breakup of hundreds of migrant families and channeling children into shelters and foster homes across the country.
How are you holding up? Well, unfortunately, there is more:
Bethany Christian Services, which is coordinating foster placements for about 100 migrant children in Michigan and Maryland, including José’s, is planning to expand to several other states. Families receive a stipend of about $400 a month to defray the costs of taking care of a child.
“We don’t want to have to ramp up,” said Chris Palusky, president of Bethany. “We would prefer these kids stay with their families; they should not be separated. But being in a loving foster home is better than being on a military base.”
Among other children recently fostered by Bethany families is an 18-month-old girl separated from her father, who has been detained. The child cries frequently, especially when she changes settings, such as leaving her foster family’s home to attend a doctor’s appointment.
Dona Abbott, Bethany’s refugee program director, said that these newly separated children frequently have nightmares, anxiety and stomachaches.
A 3-year-old boy taken from his mother at the border was inconsolable during his flight to Michigan and cried incessantly on arrival at his new home last month, she said. He recently has begun to bond with his foster mother, from whom he is now reluctant to be apart. “He seems fearful of losing yet another attachment,” Ms. Abbott said.
You know that part I said earlier about getting through this without breaking down?
Yeah, well that didn’t happen.
I have too much experience with children being removed from the home for this not to affect me.
But at least in those cases, there was an identified threat of harm to the children or concern for their mental or emotional health.
This just seems horrifyingly unnecessary.
According to the article in just the first two weeks that these new measures have been in place, 638 parents with 658 children have been prosecuted.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says that the department does not want to take children away from their parents:
“We do not have a policy to separate children from their parents. Our policy is, if you break the law we will prosecute you.”
So you see it is not the agency’s fault, it is the fault of those parents for taking their children out of war-torn countries and bringing them to America in the hopes of finding a better life.
I guess those parents did not get the memo that there is a new sheriff in town and he does not give a shit about children.