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Family Separation Under Trump: an Ongoing Story With Tragic Consequences for Parents and Children

 

Wash Post and BuzzFeed Profiles Offer Reminder That Family Separations Continue 

There were at least 5,400 children separated from their parents in the official government tally of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” family separation effort. However, that number misses the family separations under Trump that both pre-dated the official “zero tolerance” timeframe and continue to this day. 

Today, two disturbing pieces in the Washington Post and BuzzFeed offer more reminders that family separation is an ongoing feature of the Trump immigration and asylum approach. It is a feature, not a bug, of their cruel deterrence-only strategy. Previously, Dara Lind detailed in a powerful ProPublica feature story, approximately 60,000 individuals are stuck in Mexico without access to a fair asylum hearing because of MPP, and that many face family separation as a result.

According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:  “Family separation is not only a dark chapter of Trump’s presidency, it is an ongoing feature of his administration’s relentless effort to inflict cruelty on families. The goal from the beginning has been to make the treatment of families fleeing for safety to the United States so cruel, chaotic and horrifying that people stop seeking refuge at our borders. Deterrence by way of cruelty, racism and suffering is especially ghoulish when we hear Trump officials declare their policies a ‘success.’”

See below for details and excerpts from two stories today reminding us that the number of families separated and traumatized in recent years is much much higher than the official government tally and that the trauma continues.

In the Washington Post, Kevin Sieff writes, “They were one of the first families separated at the border. Two and a half years later, they’re still apart.”

Adelaida Reynoso and her mother, María, were among the first migrant families broken up by the Trump administration, on July 31, 2017, long before the government acknowledged it was separating parents and children at the border. They haven’t seen each other since.

Adelaida is now 9, a third-grader in southwest Florida, one of the top students in her class, carrying a thick English dictionary in a purple backpack. María, now 31, was deported alone to rural Guatemala. She has met with lawyers and smugglers and priests about reuniting with her daughter. Nothing has worked.

Writing at BuzzFeed, Adolfo Flores describes how “A Venezuelan Dad Was Allowed Into The US, But His 18-Year-Old Daughter Was Sent Back To Mexico Alone.”

It’s been nearly three weeks and Branyerly, who turned 18 in August, is still in the Mexican city of Matamoros by herself, separated from her father due to a Trump administration regulation banning asylum to non-Mexicans who entered the US through Mexico after July 16.

…’She’s a young girl and knowing she’s alone in Matamoros is unbearable,’ Branly told BuzzFeed News, choking back tears. “The whole reason I went back to Venezuela was to get her because her life is worth more than mine and now she’s alone in Mexico.”

…’The family hopes for reunification and protection for their daughter from the regime of Maduro, who President Trump called an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who brutalizes his people,’ Goodwin said in a statement.