Sens. Reed, Whitehouse denounce Trump's 'immeasurable trauma' on migrant children
Hundreds of children have been taken from their parents at the Mexican border. The public has not seen where they are being taken, nor do we even know how many. The numbers are not being disclosed, but one official told Reuters nearly 1,800 families were broken up by February of this year.
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., told an audience in Providence Monday, "There is no law that requires the Trump administration to systematically separate immigrant families."
The administration has chosen to take all border crossers to court as criminals, even if some are trying to present themselves as seeking political asylum. Once in the criminal system, and in a jail, their children cannot accompany them. The children are being handed off to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, but are basically dropping out of sight because no one is allowed to see their living conditions.
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said the intention is to frighten anyone else who might consider coming illegally to America with children.
"The idea that our country would undertake a policy of deliberately applying cruelty and harm to little children as a means of deterring their parents, that is not something we associate with our country," Whitehouse said.
Reed agreed: "The Trump administration is inflicting immeasurable trauma on children and deterring lawful asylum seekers. All in the hope that they intimidate immigrants from seeking asylum inside our borders."
Both senators are supporting a bill titled the Keep Families Together Act. It would keep the families intact while immigration status is determined.
The American Civil Liberties Unions has filed a suit to stop the practice of splitting up parents and children.