Children belong with their families, not in seclusion

By Ann Wambui

Children! Their smiles can light up a stranger’s face, bring families and friends together, because they are beautiful gifts to this world and their parents.

A bond between a mother and a child begins from day one, to conception and becomes lifetime. Separating a child from the parent can affect a child’s growth physically, psychologically and emotionally which in some cases takes a toll on some, and even as they grow into adulthood, there will be a void.

Since the new “zero tolerance” policy was announced by the president’s top law enforcer Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the United States of America, a lot has happened at the southern border with Mexico, as the world witnessed children being forcefully drifted from their mothers through circulating pictures and videos. This indecent act sparked demonstrations condemning the policy that directs authorities to send foreign nationals attempting to cross into the United States borders to jail and refer them to prosecution without exceptions.

President Donald Trump made a promise in 2016 to repair the country’s “damaged” immigration system. Seeing what is happening, the system is clearly damaged and very cruel. Checking at the border have always been done over the years but even as parents came in with their children, they would be sent to family shelters while awaiting deportation or processing for asylum.

As if the Sessions had not done enough by reciting the law, “If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally,” he said. I think this was an irrational statement to make because the families and individuals attempting to cross the American border are fleeing from danger and desperation in their Central American homes, for example Guatemala.

According to THE INDEPENDENT, a Border Protection official told Congress that over two weeks in the month of June, more than 600 adults were referred for prosecution under the new policy and bringing with them about 650 children.

According to VOX, at least 2,700 children have been split from their parents between October 2017 and May 2018, 1,995 of them were wrenched between April 18 and May 31, 2018 to indicate that each day a child is segregated from their parent.

USA TODAY wrote that federal judge in California Judge Dana Sabraw did order the immigration authorities reunite separated children within 30 days and those younger than 5 years be reunited within 14 days after the injunction on Tuesday June 26.

The United States pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council a day after UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents.

The US left the council on the terms that, “The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights,” as the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. President Trump’s envoy to UN, Ambassador Nikki Haley, said, “We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.”

As Mtoto News, we strongly condemn the separation from children that has been going on at the American borders because it violates their rights and international law. There is no law on earth that allows anyone to do so, unless the child’s safety or well-being is at stake, or the parent is termed unfit.


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Mtoto News is an online platform of news, information and resources that aims at making significant change in the lives of children by making them visible. Read or follow us on twitter and Facebook @mtotonews

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