‘Enough kids to overflow the typical NFL stadium’: Trump held 69,000 migrant children in custody this year

  • 11/12/2019 2:17 pm ET Dara Brewton
Trump Administration held unprecedented 69,550 migrant kids in custody this year

Screenshot / YouTube

Over the past year, the Trump Administration has held an NFL stadium’s worth of migrant children custody. The unprecedented number of detained children, 69,555 to be exact, is more than any other nation.

The practice of detaining children separately from their parents has been proven to cause long-term damage both emotionally and physically. The United States government was warned that the practice would cause trauma. Yet, they continue to hold children of all ages—toddler to teen—in custody.

According to APNews, the children held in custody this year is up 42% from 2018. Plus, those kids have spent more of their time in custody away from their parents or families than they have in previous years. Trump’s immigration policies have increased the number of kids being held and the length of their time in detention.

An American Problem

Having nearly 70,000 children in government custody is unprecedented. For comparison, look at the numbers detained in other countries.

Australia had a surge of migrant arrivals in 2013. They detained just 2,000 of the children that arrived on their shores.

Canada goes to great lengths to avoid separating children from their family members, it is only used as a last resort. In 2018, their total of detained migrant children was 155.

According to officials in the UK, there were just 42 children held in custody as migrant shelters in 2017.

The Cruelty Is the Point

A Honduran man crossed the border in Texas with his three-year-old daughter in March of 2019. The pair were separated, and the girl was put into foster care. The panicked father was left with no knowledge of his daughter’s well-being for an entire three weeks. He wasn’t allowed to speak to her on the phone for over a month.

While detained, he found out that his daughter was being sexually molested by another child in the foster home. “She’s so small for something like that to happen,” said he told AP News, “I felt like I couldn’t do anything to help her.”

The Trump administration claims that the children are separated for their own protection—to cut down on cases of human trafficking. Yet, when the Honduran man was given a DNA test that proved his paternity, he was still not reunited with his daughter.

Finally, in June he asked for them to deported in order to reunite with his daughter. They sent him back alone keeping her in the U.S. for another month.

The Courts are Stepping Up

The Trump Administration is not completely getting away with everything. There are those that are working hard on behalf of the migrant families.

A federal judge recently ordered the U.S. to provide mental health treatment for families that have been traumatized by the administration’s cruel family separation policies. The evidence presented said the policy “caused severe mental trauma to parents and their children.” It also reiterated that the government was “aware of the risks associated with family separation when they implemented it.”

Some of the families are even suing the government with the help of the ACLU claiming their kids were harmed while in the detention centers.


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