5 Things You Need to Know
Save the Children is gravely concerned about the treatment and well-being of children from Latin American nations who are in the custody of the United States government after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Here’s what you need to know about the ongoing situation.
1. Many of the families and unaccompanied children arriving at the border are fleeing from a complex mix of social and economic factors.
In particular, they’re fleeing violence in their home communities and seeking asylum in America. For families and unaccompanied children seeking asylum, we have a moral and legal obligation to ensure children are protected and their rights for due process are upheld.
2. Separating a child from his or her family unnecessarily is inhumane, traumatic and simply put, unacceptable.
The cruel act of separation can cause severe negative social and emotional consequences for the children and their families in the days, months and years ahead. Our global evidence shows that children living in institutions away from their families are highly vulnerable to emotional, physical and psychological abuse, which can lead to lasting developmental problems, injuries and trauma.
3. Save the Children believes the Presidential Executive Order addressing family separation achieves one thing: further harming already vulnerable children.
As announced, the Executive Order simply replaces family separation with indefinite family detention – this unconscionable order does not once mention the best interests of children. Save the Children has zero tolerance for policies that do not put children’s interests first. We know from our nearly 100 years of service that family detention has significant adverse effects on a child’s development and psychosocial well-being, which ultimately results in the loss of childhood.
4. Indefinite family detention is simply unacceptable.
Family detention centres have been consistently found unsuitable and injurious for children. The Executive Order does not address the needs of previously separated children or the need to uphold asylum rights.
We have now heard the cries of these children from the border. We all must raise our voices and stand up for those children who are facing the unthinkable.
5. We continue to urge the President to do the right thing for children.
We also ask for Congress to include the policies and recommendations outlined in the Keep Families Together Act in any legislation that is voted on in the House or Senate on this topic. We have already heard bipartisan commitments to end cruelty toward children.