In May of last year, the country learned that Customs and Border Protection at the southern border had separated over 2,300 children from their parents.
The immediate public outcry caused President Trump to sign an executive order in mid-June 2018 reversing his policy of separating families — and replaced it with a policy of detaining entire families together, including children, but ignoring legal time limits on the detention of minors.
More than a year after President Donald Trump ‘ended’ the policy that led to widespread family separations, migrant advocates say the government continues separating children from parents for questionable reasons. Reliable numbers are hard to come by, but the ACLU estimated the number to be near 700 in May of this year.
As we know from recent reports, on any given day CBP has upwards of 2,000 children in detention. We have all seen the pictures and reports of immigrants and asylum seekers jammed into cages, sometimes for weeks or even months, with no room to sleep, inadequate food, water, and medical care and denied the most basic hygiene.
These are crimes against humanity, particularly when perpetrated against children. There is room for debate about our immigration policy, but there should be no debate about this: children do not belong in cages, kept in inhumane conditions, and denied the most basic necessities.
The current administration shows no sign of ceasing these crimes, and our elected officials seem unable to effect any meaningful change. I believe it is time for the American people to stand up, city by city, county by county, and state by state, to call for an end to the illegal and inhumane treatment of children in the custody of Customs and Border Protection.
On Wednesday, Aug. 7, the City Council of Toledo passed a resolution calling for an end to the humanitarian crisis on the border with Mexico. Here is the full text of that resolution:
RESOLUTION NO. 1422
(Adopted August 7th, 2019)
A RESOLUTION CALLING FOR AN END TO THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS AT THE U.S. BORDER WITH MEXICO
WHEREAS, the current influx of children at the U.S. Southern border is an international humanitarian crisis in desperate need of resolution; and
WHEREAS, thousands of young lives are in jeopardy as children seek refuge, fleeing communities overrun by organized crime, violence, human trafficking and persecution; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report found that the majority of unaccompanied children (60 percent) said they were seeking protection because they experienced or were in serious risk of violence in their home country; and
WHEREAS, children have been forced into overcrowded, unhealthy and inhumane detention centers with unsanitary conditions:
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY OF TOLEDO RESOLVES To call for an immediate response from the federal government to the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. border with Mexico that puts the safety and well-being of children first while seeking resolution to the root causes of the forced migration of children from Central America; and calls on the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services to treat the crisis at the Southern border as a refugee crisis that puts the interest of children first and, whenever possible, to extend the same humanitarian protections we have offered others around the world in similar circumstances, and provide all children with adequate protections and legal services including a legal advocate who can provide children with guidance through the legal process.