Donald Trump and his administration announced a few days ago that they would sign an executive order to stop the separation of migrant children from their parents. But what about the children that have already been separated from their parents?
Over 2,000 children were separated from their parents and were transferred to foster homes or care centers, what are their fates now? How will the government return these children back to their parents with many being transferred to other areas from where they were separated from their parents. Kally Bellor, the vice president of programs at the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, which has found foster homes for a number of the separated children says she anticipates that the kids “will not be all reunited with their parents by next week or something.”
There has been no mention of a plan by the administration on how they will reunite the 2,000 plus children and their families. The Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Meanwhile, the non for profit centers, refugee centers, and faith-based foster care organizations are finding it hard to care of the influx of children being dumped at their doorsteps. Some of the centers have also commented that they are not prepared or equipped to deal with younger children. According to records at least 100 plus children under four were separated from their parents.
“We’ve had to turn kids away because we haven’t had enough foster families,” said Chris Palusky, president of Bethany Christian Services, which placed around 100 of these separated children in foster care homes in Michigan and Maryland.
“You can’t just turn the spicket on and suddenly have 80 new foster parents,” Bellor, of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, said. “It’s not like if we can build capacity we can build it overnight.”
Parents said they still did not know how to track down their children and struggled to find out any information through a 1-800 hotline set up by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. Others who had located their children said they were still separated by thousands of miles and a bureaucratic maze they did not know how to navigate.
And what about the traumatizing effects these children will face even if they are reunited with their parents?
The one good thing that did come from this was how people’s voices were heard. Enough people cared to voice their horror at what was happening in our country. At the thought that we had become so inhumane as to strip a child from its mother’s arms and enough people were outraged regardless of what side they are on. Because this wasn’t about people coming into our country and becoming a possible threat, no this was about how we were treating human beings and the scars we were leaving them, after all these people are seeking a better life for their families, escaping violence and death.