‘National Shame’: US Immigration Activist Calls out ICE’s Losing Track of 1,500 Migrant Children

by TeleSur / The States

One activist said “there have been cases where these children end up in the hands of traffickers.”

After the horrific news of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, ICE, losing nearly 1,500 migrant children surfaced last month, immigration advocates are pointing out ICE’s lack of concern and negligence over the policies affecting immigrants.

At a senate hearing last month, Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary of the administration for children and families (ACF), admitted that the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement — responsible for overseeing migrants children was “unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children between October and December.”

In an interview with Mother Jones, Michelle Brané, the director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission and a leading expert on immigration detention and the ORR, said, Wagner’s comment implied, “Children may have moved—they may have gone to live with another family member—and things may be OK. Or there have been cases where these children end up in the hands of traffickers. So it is possible that some of those [children] could be in very dangerous and vulnerable situations.”

“Now that we have this new population of children who have been separated from their parents, it’s even more disturbing,” Brané added.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes who tweeted out excerpts of the lawsuit called out Trump’s unreasonable policies that are leading to “systematic” division of immigrant children from their parents at the border, and ICE’s “despicable” policy and its effect on families who come to the United States to seek asylum — so, as Hayes points out, “not trying to sneak in.”

Hayes also highlighted a case of a mother who reported she has not seen her 18-month-old son since he was taken from her a month ago— “a moral abomination, and a national shame.”

“Kids as young as nine years old, seven years old — cases of children as young as 18 months — ripped out of the arms of their mother and putting those children into government-run shelters for a very specific reason: To punish the immigrants,” Hayes stated.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), a frequent critic of the Trump administration, referred to Melania Trump’s ‘Be Best initiative’ that focuses on the “social, emotional, and physical health” of children, not sufficient as the Trump’s policies continue to “rip kids from their parents.”

“Dear @FLOTUS: Separating toddlers from parents is definitely not a #BeBest policy. Are you going to do anything about it? No one can take your #BeBest children’s agenda seriously when your husband’s policy rips kids from their parents and loses track of the children,” Lieu pointed out.

This article has been re-published on Love and Rage in accordance with Creative Commons licensing guidelines.

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