Last month, a federal judge in San Diego ordered the Trump administration to reunite parents and children separated at the border. The first group of children was supposed to have been reunited two days ago. But, of these 103 boys and girls under 5 years old, 45 percent were not placed with their parents.
While the Trump administration has told reporters that the failed reunions were due to parents having criminal or child abuse records, it remains to be seen if these claims pan out. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been less than forthright over the last 60 days in the statements that it has released in regards to the children. It would be no surprise if they were lying again.
The experienced immigration attorneys that I spoke to today all doubted the assertion that such a large number of parents did not meet the criteria to take guardianship of their own children. Poor record keeping is more likely behind the prolonged separations.
Twelve of the children have parents who have already been deported or otherwise removed from the United States by DHS. Alarmingly, there is speculation that these children may ultimately be placed for adoption. If that happens, the United States then becomes complicit in child-stealing.
Before the end of this month, hundreds of other children will need to be reunited with their parents. Given the complete lack of care by the president about the welfare of the child refugees, we are likely to hear even more stories of vulnerable boys and girls facing a permanent severing of their familial bonds.
None of this needed to happen. The disaster at the border was caused by the president and his minions. Their punitive policies and irresponsible implementation have left thousands upon thousands traumatized.