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Immigration Policy Causes Family Separation

While immigration might seem like an easy ordeal where people leave their country and enter the country of their dreams and prosper with a job they love and a lifestyle they've always wanted, the reality is far more terrible than people expect. Instead of entering the country as a family, children and their parents are often separated; it may be years before they can see each other again.

In 2018, news headlines were filled with news about children being held in detention centers on the US-Mexico border, after being separated from their parents. While those headlines have since become not as popular, the problem still persists. In the United States, the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance policy caused more than 5000 children to be separated from their parents on the US-Mexico border. Now, almost 5 years later, over 180 children have yet to be united with their parents, and some of their parents have been forced out of the country. However, this number is not even the full number, as many children have gone into foster care or are staying with distant relatives.

According to a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union, over 1000 families have not been united. Many lawyers and law associations have deemed the separation of these families as an inhumane policy that should never be repeated. Attorneys who have represented clients who were separated from their families at the border shared that many of these people were traumatized from the hardships they had to face, recognizing that the separation is violating human decency. Many lawsuits have been filed by these immigrants seeking legal residence for themselves and their families, and monetary compensation for their troubles.

Families seeking asylum waiting to be taken into custody, Photo Creds: Kaiser Family Foundation

In 2021, President Joe Biden established a task force dedicated to uniting families that had been separated. Websites were created in many languages so that separated families could reach out for help in connecting with their other family members. Thankfully, thousands of children are being united with their parents. However, this doesn't change the issue, as it is still happening in many other countries.

The British government has separated many immigrant children from their parents, totaling over 100 a year. The Home Office has failed to provide a public statement on these separations. Families being separated at the border is something that is unforgivable, as it will likely affect both the parents and children significantly. Children will be placed in foster care or with relatives that they might not have ever met, and parents will be stuck in detention facilities, or back in their country of origin, either way not able to check on their children.



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