“Where is my child? Where have you taken her?” I hear this frantic cry from parents at Tucson’s DiConcini Federal Courthouse’s Operation Streamline, where 75 migrants every weekday are criminally convicted en masse of crossing the southern border without proper documentation.
This is not new. But since Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared this month, “If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you,” it is escalating.
When apprehended by the Border Patrol, parents are taken to court, convicted and either deported or sent to prison for months, and their children given to the Office of Refugee Resettlement for placement in shelters or with U.S. family members who are vetted regarding their immigration status. Unfortunately, this has caused some families not to accept the child.
“Will my child and I be deported together?” Another question their lawyers are unable to answer. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the agency that oversees the child do not effectively communicate. This may allow a child as young as 4 to be deported alone to a dangerous country.
Where is the outrage against this policy? It rips families apart. It tears at our nation’s soul.