Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Immigration Law

Early Reports Warned Migrant Kids Suffered from Separations. Trump Ramped Up Practice Anyway.

Susan Ferriss, Public Integrity, Dec. 16, 2019

"Newly obtained government documents show how the Trump administration’s now-blocked policy to separate all migrant children from parents led social workers to frantically begin tracking thousands of children seized at the southern border and compile reports on cases of trauma. 

In June 2018, months after the Trump administration began its so-called Zero Tolerance policy to deter migrants trying to enter the United States, an employee working for the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement described a 5-year-old’s despair at a shelter. “Minor was separated at the border from his biological mother. Minor was tearful when he arrived and would not speak or engage in conversation with anyone,” the caregiver wrote in a report. This document and others shed light on a social experiment that was both cruel and chaotic.

Reports of traumatized children were forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, which is charged with ensuring that national security policies respect constitutional rights. A Center for Public Integrity and NPR investigation earlier this year found that the office failed to assist children whose suffering was documented in hundreds of similar complaints the office received last year."