Children ripped from their families at the border: The anguish of children still awaiting to reconnect with their loved ones

The current immigration crisis has been affecting children and families fleeing their native country in the pursuit of seeking asylum in the United States. The past several months has been crucial in determining the fate of this group. Specifically, migrant children who have been separated from their families at the border undoubtedly continue to suffer a tremendous amount of trauma. Despite the immediate halt on mass separations, the crisis continues.

Personally, my parents migrated to the United States during the 80s because it was considered the “land of opportunities”. However, times have changed, and this is not the case for many immigrant families fleeing their country. Families and children from Central and South America are escaping the continuous violence and lack of economic opportunities afforded to them. Forget the “land of opportunities”, these families want a sense of peace. Why else would they risk everything to migrate to the U.S.?

Despite the signed executive order, the Trump Administration managed to do a remarkable amount of damage in a short period of time. In addition, the “zero tolerance” border policy that was put in place further affected parents and their innocent children. While the policy was in effect, more than 2,000 children were taken from their parents, without thinking about the ways that families might eventually be reunified. However, as of recent, migrant families continue to be rounded up into government detention centers, though now at least they are being held together. This doesn’t fix the problem but is merely a bandaid to the problem.

This leads to many unanswered questions: Are all the children who were separated from their parents reconnected with their loved ones? If so, were they given the resources and services to rehabilitate from the trauma caused by the U.S. regime? Are children still being kept locked in cages like those depicted on television media? There may be answers here, but what is being done to mitigate these problems?

When it comes down to it, poverty and violence drive people out of their native country and push them to seek refuge elsewhere. Parents travel north to the Mexican border with their children in the hopes of receiving aid from the U.S. In this regard, children don’t have a choice and are put into an undesired situation. Once they reach the border, many of their parents are deported and tracking them down will take time and effort, leaving the children alone without guidance or representation. Not to mention, the parents don’t know where their children are or if they will ever see them again. The trauma experienced is evident.

All in all, children continue to suffer the tragedy of being separated from their parents and their overall mental and physical health are threatened. Those who remain in government custody continue to be scared and confused. As a result, they report signs of separation trauma and other mental health issues. Without a doubt, children will have long-term emotional and psychological effects that will linger if not treated by professionals. Moving forward, every action is crucial for the children who have and/or continue to suffer because of the separation.

To this end, what practices and policies can the Trump Administration apply to fix the problem caused in such a short period of time? How could they assist in providing the resources necessary for children and families to reconnect and rehabilitate? These children desire to be with their parents and each day being separated from one another does all the harm in the world. The Trump Administration has not shown interest in assisting these children and therefore, advocates and activists play an essential role in creating change and assisting children that are still detained. This is no longer an immigration crisis, rather a humanitarian.