During his presidency, Trump has infamously been known for cracking down on immigrants who attempt to leave their home country and move to the United States. Many of these immigrants move with their families in order to start a new life and flee from the violence of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
However, upon arriving at the border, there is an ever-growing threat that they may be caught, separated from their loved ones, and detained in detention centers.
Many people have pointed out that these border detention centers violate human rights and are, in fact, illegal.
Immigrants, specifically Hispanic immigrants who are currently living in the U.S., have a lot of opinions on the matter. 19 year-old “Luis” is among these people. Having been born in Yucatán and living in the U.S. for 13 years, he addresses the concerns many have regarding these centers and speaks out against the heartbreaking nature of the situation.
“I definitely think the treatment they’re giving families is unjustifiable,” Luis stated, rather matter-of-factly. “The lack of sanitation, necessities… they don’t give them a toothbrush or toothpaste.”
As of late, a solution has yet to be addressed when it comes to the many ethical and hygienic issues that surround these places. Investigators have been sent to these detention centers to monitor the care of children and have returned with reports of cages being dangerously overcrowded, people not being supplied with essential hygienic products or medical care, agents not separating the healthy from the diseased, and young girls being sexually assaulted.
An unfortunate example of this is Wilmer Josué Ramírez Vásquez, who was a two and a half year-old Guatemalan child. He died on May 14th of this year in Providence Children's Hospital in El Paso from several intestinal and respiratory diseases after spending several days in Border Patrol custody.
During those three days in custody, Vásquez’s mother claims that they had to suffer inhumane conditions, such as sleeping outside on the ground in extreme temperatures, and that if her child had been taken to a hospital sooner then he might still be alive. She too noted the issues of overcrowding and sick children and has called for an independent investigation into why her own child was not provided medical care sooner.
As brought up earlier, many children are being separated from their parents by immigration agents. Children are taken into Customs and Border Protection Facilities while parents remain detained. Oftentimes, this distance, combined with documentation that does not specify where children are placed once released from custody, results in families who are never reunited.
What lies in the future of immigration can not be predicted. The Trump administration was ordered back in June of 2018 to stop the family separation that was backed by his “zero tolerance” policy. Yet, it was reported that in July of this year, over 700 children were separated from their parents. At present times, according to data provided to the American Civil Liberties Union by the U.S. government, as many as five children a day continue to be separated.
Some claim that it’s only a matter of time until America reaches the point of no return when it comes to mistreating these people and banning their entrance into this country.
“We’re not there yet, but we’re definitely getting there,” Luis concluded. “To an extent, [the] government has a reason to want to control immigration, but using fear to manipulate and control is what leads to human violations and a lack of ethics and morals“.
This way of handling immigrant families is clearly problematic, but for now we will have to wait and see what the U.S. government’s next move is in addressing this situation.