'Despair is everywhere': in the 2019 year in the USA, they were separated from their parents and 70 000 illegally children were detained - ForumDaily
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'Despair is everywhere': in the 2019 year in the USA, they were separated from their parents and 70 000 illegal children were detained

3-year-old girl traveled for several weeks with her father, who went to seek refuge in the United States. Now she doesn’t even look at him. After violent separation at the border, harassment at an American shelter, and deportation, she returned desperate to Honduras, confident that her beloved father had abandoned her. The man fears that his connection with the child will be destroyed forever. Writes about this Team.

Фото: Depositphotos

“I think about this trauma that will stay with her, just as the trauma stayed with me and still does not go away,” the father said a few days after reuniting with his daughter.

New government data from November shows the little girl is one of 69 migrant children in U.S. custody over the past year. That's enough kids to fill an NFL stadium. More children are being detained away from their parents in America than in any other country, UN researchers say. This comes even as the US government has acknowledged that detention can be traumatic for children, putting them at risk of long-term physical and emotional harm.

Some of the migrant children who were in custody this year have already been deported. Some have reunited with their family in the United States, where they are trying to go to school and recover bit by bit their lives. Around 4000 are still in custody, some in large immigrant detention centers. Every week there are more and more of them.

Nearly 70 000 migrant children who were detained during the past year (an increase of 201% in the 2019 financial year) spent more time in shelters and away from their families than in previous years. The strict immigration policies of the Trump administration have increased the time children spend in custody, despite the government’s own recognition that it hurts children.

On the subject: Bloomberg: immigrant children are more successful than their parents and peers born in the USA

“Early experiences are literally hardwired into our brains and bodies,” says Dr. Jack Shonkoff, who directs the Harvard University Center on Child Development. Earlier this year, he told Congress that “decades of peer-reviewed research” shows that keeping children away from their parents or guardians is harmful to their health.

A teenager from Honduras, who had been held in a large detention center for four months before reuniting with his mother earlier this year, said his fear and anxiety grew every day.

“There was desperation everywhere,” he recalls.

He spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

The three-year-old girl who was taken from her father when immigration officers caught them near the Texas border in March 2019 was sent to a family-type shelter funded by the government. When the guardian allowed her to talk to her father on the phone, the girl refused, screaming from anger.

The daughter did not say or could not tell her father that the other child in the shelter woke her up at night and began to molest her, according to court records. After several days, she began to urinate under herself and could neither eat nor drink, according to the records of the guardians.

"I felt like there was nothing I could do to help her," said her father, who learned of his daughter's abuse while incarcerated. The father agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.

In June, he surrendered and asked the judge to deport them. The government sent him back to Honduras alone. The daughter followed him a month later. At home, the girl ignored her father and refused to take his hand. She only willingly played with her younger sister. My father did not know about any psychological support in their city.

"We're trying to give her more love now, and then if there's no change, we'll try to find some help," he said.

Federal law requires the Refugee Relocation Office of the Department of Health and Human Services to provide migrant children with food, shelter, and medical and psychological assistance. But the HHS Inspector General's office found that there were not enough doctors in shelters with migrant children.

HHS spokesman Mark Weber said: “We have to pay tribute to the Refugee Relocation Authority and shelter network staff for managing the program, which was able to quickly expand and bring together the largest number of children in the program’s history, all in an incredibly difficult environment.”

On the subject: The White House tried to ban schools in the US from accepting illegal children

The American Academy of Pediatrics says detained migrant children “face almost universal traumatic stories” and warn of serious consequences if left untreated. But few of the thousands of children separated from their parents receive therapy after being deported back to Central America. Poor communities often do not have the resources available to improve mental health.

9 of the 10 migrant children detained last year came from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and less than 3% from Mexico. They flee from Central America, where violence and abuse, even murder, are committed with impunity.

Eskinder Negash, who heads the US non-profit refugee and immigrant committee, knows too well the trauma of separation and detention. He escaped from Ethiopia alone when he was a teenager, after his country was in chaos due to a military coup. Negash also knows what it means to take care of tens of thousands of migrant children. He was the director of the Obama Administration's Refugee Relocation Office in 2014, when more than 60 000 children arrived on the border. Negash and his team fought for them.

This summer, the USCRI nonprofit committee opened a government-funded shelter in southern Florida called Rinconcito del Sol, which translates as “A Small Corner of Sunlight." There are no guards in uniform. Residents, girls 13-17 years old, can call their families as needed, they are offered therapeutic services, including intensive care for victims of trafficking and abuse.

“The girls come in very sad, nervous, not knowing what to expect, not knowing what the future holds for them,” said shelter director Elsie Valdez. “We’re giving them that feeling of safety and security for the first time.”

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Miscellanea In the U.S. children illegals immigrant children
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