The Trump administration’s policy of the separation of migrant children from their parents has been a gut-wrenching story to watch as it continued to escalate and unfold in the courts and in the media. The US immigration judges have also been placed under immense pressure from President Trump to speed up the proceedings of immigrant deportations.
Migrant Children May Be Adopted by Americans After Their Parents Are Deported
As reported by USA Today, during the first 100 days of the administration, the number of people arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement escalated to 157 % compared with the same period in 2016. The people who are deeply affected in this situation are the children that are torn from their parents.
The numbers have painted a very shocking reality of the United States deportation mission. Purportedly more than 450 migrant parents have been deported without their children. This is not only alarming, but it is deeply concerning as these children’s cases could be jeopardised by virtue of not having the parent around to provide substantial information towards their cases, and importantly make their wishes known with regards to what they want to happen with their kids.
As the story has unfolded, new developments have now indicated that some of these children have been adopted by Americans. The loopholes within the immigration system have given state court judges the legislative power to grant custody of migrant children to American families who would like to adopt the children.
This, of course, holds various ramifications both for the adoptive families and for the children as well. The state’s forced separation of the children from their parents already causes traumatic experiences of neglect and confusion in the children as some are too young to understand what is happening and why their parents may have left them behind. This kind of trauma could invariably lead to lasting effects which may manifest later in the children’s lives.
With regards to the adoptive parents, it can also get tricky as the child could eventually return to his/her family. An example of such is the case of Alexa who was placed into foster care by Bethany Christian Services, an organisation which allegedly ignored calls to return Alexa back home to her family. This resulted in officials stepping in and ordering that the child be returned home and the re-orientation of the child back at home was not easy as she wanted to go back to her adoptive parents, refusing to eat or play for quite some time before eventually coming around.
Beyond the politics of the immigrant deportation situation, these are the lives of real humans and this is causing much heartache and emotional stress as some of these parents who are forcefully separated from their children cannot even afford to get legal representation. There needs to be a serious consideration on behalf of the US government on the effects of this operation on the lives of these children and their families.
Trump’s zero-tolerance clampdown has left many children spread across the US, either in detention, shelters or foster care. This granting of custody of migrant children to American families without the consent of the children’s parents is a violation of human rights. The US government should ensure that they work towards a reunification of the children with their families, particularly in the instances where it is possible to trace both child and their family.
The sad reality is that many people are forced to leave their homes and their countries for myriad reasons and they hope to find a better life in their countries of asylum. According to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) 68.5 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced as a result of violence, chaos and strife among others.
As conflict and insecurity in certain countries continue to rise, many will continue to flee their countries of birth in search of a better life, it is most unfortunate that when they attempt to get this better life, they are met with such cruel and harsh realities like the one of deportation in Amerca.
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