The infants are among 1,500 “unaccompanied” children, from newborns to age three. that have been called in to immigration court since Oct. 1, 2015. The children need frequent touching and bonding with a parent and naps every few hours.
The Trump administration has summoned at least 70 infants to immigration court for their own deportation proceedings since Oct. 1, Kaiser Health News reports. These are children who need frequent touching and bonding with a parent and naps every few hours, and some were of breastfeeding age. They’re unable to speak and still learning when it’s day versus night. “For babies, the basics are really important. It’s the holding, the proper feeding, proper nurturing,” said Shadi Houshyar of the advocacy group Families USA. The number of infants involved who are under age 1 has been rising, up threefold from 24 infants in the fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30, and 46 infants the year before.
A a total of 1,500 “unaccompanied” children, from newborns to age three, have been called in to immigration court since Oct. 1, 2015. About three-fourths of the children are represented by a lawyer. They must make their case that they should stay in the United States. “This is to some extent a … crisis of the creation of the government,” said Robert Carey, who previously headed the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which takes custody of unaccompanied minors. “It’s a tragic and ironic turn of events.” The government argues that separation and its consequences are unfortunate but unavoidable under the law. The number of unaccompanied children called in to court since Oct. 1, 2015 swells to 2,900 if kids up to 5 are included. The total will rise between now and Sept. 30, when the fiscal year ends, noted Susan Long of Syracuse University, director of TRAC, a repository of immigration and federal court data.