In 2018, the #Trump administration announced its "zero tolerance" policy, in which the Justice Department initiated criminal #prosecutions of every adult illegally crossing the #border. The policy resulted in the separation of thousands of families, including those with infants, some only a few months old, because #children can't be kept in federal jail with their parents.
After images of children in cells, crying and traumatised from the deplorable conditions, were publicly displayed, Trump’s government stopped separating children from their parents and began the process of reunification of those found in detention camps.
Four years after the start of this policy, reunification has been slow and chaotic. In some cases, the children were incorrectly transferred to be reunited with their parents and, upon arrival, found that their loved ones were not at the location.
According to the official data, there are still 237 children whose parents have not been located. Analysts believe that some of these children may never see their parents again given the great problem of obtaining information about their true whereabouts.
Family separation is a traumatic experience for children and can leave them exposed to vulnerable situations such as exploitation or abuse, as well as it impacts their mental health which can affect their long-term development.
Children, no matter where they come from or what their immigration status is, are children first. Those who had no choice but to flee their homes have the right to be protected.