The parents accused immigration officers of taking their children away without giving them information and sometimes mocking them or denying them a chance to say goodbye. The claims allege that many children remain traumatized, including a 7-year-old girl who won't sleep without her mother and a 6-year-old boy who is reluctant to eat.
US sees limitations on reuniting migrant families
The Trump administration says it would require extraordinary effort to reunite what may be thousands of migrant children who were separated from their parents and, even if it could, the children would likely be emotionally harmed. The position was outlined in a court-ordered response to a government watchdog report on a practice that drew widespread criticism last year. An official says removing children from "sponsor" homes to rejoin their parents "could be traumatic."
Thousands turned out Saturday to criticize the separation and detention of migrant families who Animated by what they view as the cruel treatment of migrants seeking refuge in the United States Many of the more than 2,300 children separated from their migrant parents remain at makeshift
1) How is the government separating families at the border? To be clear, there is no official Trump policy stating that every family entering the US without papers has to Indefinite family separation is almost certainly going to overwhelm the already precarious system for dealing with migrant children.
The Trump administration has acknowledged it separated more than 2,000 families last year through the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy intended to crack down on Central American migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. Government watchdogs have also said it's unclear how many families were separated in total because agencies did not keep good enough records as the policy was implemented.
In one claim , a Guatemalan woman alleges she was detained in May with her 5-year-old son in a type of temporary detention facility nicknamed a "hielera," or icebox in Spanish. When they arrived in Arizona, the claim alleges, an immigration officer told her the law had changed, that their children would be taken, and that they would be deported. She says the officer then told her: "Happy Mother's Day."
Police in riot gear line up at border to greet migrant caravan as US vows: 'We stand ready'
Police clad in riot gear and armed with automatic weapons greeted the migrants who arrived near the Texas border.
The families are generally released, and parents are typically given ankle-monitoring bracelets and court dates to appear before an immigration judge. Dana Sabraw, a US district judge in San Diego, commended the government Tuesday for its recent efforts, calling it “a remarkable achievement”.
US migrant family separations . Image copyrightGetty Images. Image caption Children separated from their parents at the border are classed as They are transferred to government detention facilities or foster care while officials try to resolve their case. The United Nations has called on the
The woman says another immigration officer woke her up at about 5 a.m. days later, ordered her to bathe and clothe her son, and then took her son into another room. The woman says she begged not to have her son taken, then asked that the two be deported together to Guatemala rather than separated.
"The officer laughed," the claim says. "He made fun of her indigenous accent and said, laughingly, 'it's not that easy.'"
They were reunited in July, but then placed in a family detention center. They were released in November.
Stanton Jones, a lawyer for the families, said the families were entitled to monetary damages because of the government's "inexplicable cruelty."
"The government was harming children intentionally to try to advance what it viewed as a policy objective," Jones said. "It's heinous and immoral, but it's also a civil wrong for which the law provides a claim for relief."
The claims were submitted to the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The act gives government agencies six months to respond before a potential lawsuit, Jones said.
HHS spokeswoman Evelyn Stauffer said the department couldn't comment on the claims, but that HHS "plays no role in the apprehension or initial detention" of children referred to its care, including children who were separated from their parents by immigration authorities.
The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment.