Children Separated at the Border
Updated: Aug 1, 2019
by Alex Vilchis-Orozco
In April 2018, the Zero Tolerance Policy was initiated. This allowed border patrol to separate children from their parents when trying to cross the border. This policy was cruel and harmful to both the parents and kids. The policy was later removed, but this didn’t stop border patrol from separating children from there families . To this day (July 2019), there are still children who haven’t been reunited with their parents. While the policy was in place, regulations were broken. For example, keeping the children in the shelters for longer than they were meant to be; the "Tent City" that didn’t have the required amount of clinicians; nor did the operators of the facility conduct background checks on any of their employees.
How were the children separated you ask? Well, when the family attempted to cross the border, and they were caught, the parents would be detained while the children were sent to a shelter. In some cases, the parents were told that the children were going to be given a bath. This allowed for a smoother separation. The parents were sent to detention centers, while the children were sent to shelters. The children were kept in these shelters until their parents are released.
The shelters are not the most comfortable places to be. They are big warehouses with fences to separate the children into groups. The children are given foil blankets and they sleep on mats. There are clinicians to help those with mental-illnesses and food is provided, but some shelters mistreat the children there.
As mentioned before, the “Zero Tolerance Policy” was removed due to its cruelty to the families and children, but this isn’t the end of the disaster. Children are still separated in small quantities and some families have not been reunited to this day (July 2019).
In the end, families are still being separated and some families may never be reunited. This is a disaster that can be averted in the future, as long as those of us with a voice talk about change. This can be a small change, but at least it’s something. As you can see, it was those with voices that caused the “Zero Tolerance Policy” to be removed. People often say that home is where your family is, but what if your whole family has been separated from you? Where is your home?