Over the last several weeks, reports of immigrant children separated from their families at the Southern border of the United States have filled print, television, and radio news, as well as social media news feeds.
In short, as a result of the current administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, adults caught crossing the border illegally were being criminally charged and separated from their children. Those children were sent to immigrant detention facilities with virtually no way to contact their parents or other adults. These separations were not limited to border-crossers; there were also reports of refugees entering the U.S. through legal channels to request amnesty, only to have their children taken away from them.
After mounting pressure last week, President Trump signed an executive order that, on the surface, ended the problem. While the order does temporarily stop separating children from parents caught crossing the border illegally, it comes with a different set of potential issues. If the new order stands, refugee children and parents can now be detained indefinitely together. While they may be kept in the same facility (in fenced areas that look and feel a lot like dog kennels), it does not mean that they will be housed together.
Reuniting the thousands of children who have already been separated from their parents will be no easy feat, either. Many of these children may not even know their parents’ names and struggle communicating with ICE and detention center workers. Compounding the problem, there were reports that the government had “lost” nearly 1,500 children in the system, although the administration claims it is simply temporarily unable to locate them. How can our government misplace that many children? What is happening down there?!
What will ultimately happen with this crisis remains to be seen, but most people would likely agree our government needs to take definitive action for the sake of the children. At The Surrogacy Law Center, we truly believe family units are stronger when they’re together. We remain committed to helping people create and maintain strong, healthy and happy families.