The emotionally-charged worldwide backlash against the separation of immigrant families detained at the border prompted the Trump administration to scale back certain elements of its border enforcement policy — but it seems that some migrant kids are being subjected to even more troubling treatment.
In an interview with Politico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan indicated that over 100 migrant parents facing deportation separated themselves from their kids voluntarily, leaving them behind in the United States without parental support.
Massive protests have surfaced in recent weeks decrying what the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, including what became the temporary separation of illegal immigrant parents and children.
But those who assailed the practice have neglected to address an even more alarming phenomenon affecting this particularly vulnerable group. In remarks made to Politico’s Luiza Chwialkowska Savage, McAleenan explained that his agency has seen more than 100 deported parents decide that they would prefer to leave their children in the United States, with some intending that the minors be placed with a relative already living in the country.
In fact, many of those who crossed the border in 2016, when enforcement was deliberately eased by the Obama administration, were even able to develop entrenched networks of relatives who can now take in the abandoned children once they reach American soil.
Once the children have been settled, many of these parents will eventually attempt to unite with their children by again illegally crossing the border on their own.
It gets worse
Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies told Breitbart that it’s important to remember that this abandonment is a choice made solely by parents, and is a hallmark of an overriding scheme to install these minors inside the United States.
Vaughan went on to assert that such conduct is tantamount to criminal smuggling, in which the safety of the children is largely disregarded. The separation that so many on the left have deemed abhorrent and unacceptable is, in Vaughan’s estimation, something too many immigrant parents willingly elected.
Nevertheless, the Trump administration has continually been castigated by voices as seemingly diverse as the Pope to the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for its perceived policy of forcibly separating children from their parents.
“Separating children from their parents contradicts everything we stand for as pediatricians — protecting and promoting children’s health,” the president of the AAP said. “We know that family separation causes irreparable harm to children. This type of highly stressful experience can disrupt the building of children’s brain architecture. Prolonged exposure to serious stress — known as toxic stress — can lead to lifelong health consequences.”
If true, these damning arguments against the separation of children from their mothers and fathers beg the question: why doesn’t voluntary abandonment by deportee parents illicit the same type of harm on these youth?
Not surprisingly, anti-Trump, pro-immigration voices have yet to offer an answer.