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The Long Arm of Family Separation Horrors


I’m surprised we don’t talk more about the longer term horrors of Trump/Sessions/Miller’s family separation policies at the border. How many of these families haven’t been reunited? How many children were just lost in the system? It’s one of the worst things in all of American history, if not in total numbers, at least in moral bankruptcy. So I appreciated this Post story on one case, but really, what a complete and utter disaster, as a child gets taken in by a family, then when the government finally gets around to reuniting the child with his real family, the CPS people get in the way to stop it.

The Biden administration had brought Magdalena from Guatemala to the United States to reunite with her daughter, a reversal of the Trump administration’s policy of family separation that had torn them apart.

But now a county judge’s question loomed over their future: Was Magdalena the right person to raise her own child?

n between shifts at the hotel’s laundry room, she had written a statement to read at the hearing. She held the paper in her right hand so it didn’t blow away in the wind.

“I promise I can take care of my daughter,” she wrote.

“I have permission to be in this country legally,” she wrote.

“I have permission to work here.”

But the call wasn’t connecting. Somewhere in California, Magdalena knew, strangers were discussing whether her child was better off with a foster family.

“In the matter of Mildred Analy Hernández Pérez,”the case file began.

“Fifty-fifty,” is how her social workers had described Magdalena’s chances at the hearing.

Outside the Comfort Inn, across the street from the Tennessee Titans’ massive football stadium near downtown Nashville, Magdalena shook her phone. The screen was still frozen.

U.S. Border Patrol agents had taken her9-year-old daughter from her in December 2017 at an immigration detention facility in Arizona. They were among the first migrant families to be separated by the Trump administration — and now had endured one of the longest separations.

Between 2017 and 2018, the United States took about 5,000 migrant children from their parents. In most cases, the children were sent to live with relatives in the United States and the parents were deported.

But in cases such as Mildred’s, when no family members were available to host the children, they were sent to foster homes. Custody was transferred to state welfare agencies and private foster services. Some parents were warned by immigration officials that their children could be adopted by American families.

WhenPresident Biden in 2021 announced an effort to reunify separated families, Homeland Security officials knew it was the foster cases that would pose the greatest challenge. But even they were unprepared for how, in such cases, the jurisdiction of state and local courts would leave the federal government powerless to bring children and parents together again.

It’s unclear how many families have been ensnared by the complication, but cases continue to emerge. In Florida, a Guatemalan woman fought to get her preteen daughter from a state foster program in which the girl had been living for nearly fiveyears. In North Carolina, a Honduran mother struggled to regain custody of her 14-year-old son.

“The separation these families experience is even further prolonged, the harm further perpetuated,” said Kelly Albinak Kribs, an attorney with the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.

Just an utter shitshow. And all to make whites in Nebraska and Indiana feel good about themselves by destroying Latin American families.

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