One child newly ripped away from her mother was an eight-month-old infant.
After the Trump administration earned worldwide condemnation for ripping children away from their families in an effort to deter both legal and illegal immigration, Trump signed an executive order that he claimed would halt the abhorrent practice.
That was in June. But in the eight months since then, a new report finds that 272 adults have been separated from their children just at one Texas courthouse.
The youngest child separated in these new cases was an eight-month old infant taken away from her mother.
"The American people need to know that babies are still being ripped from their mothers' arms by President Trump's family separation policy," Laura Peña, a Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) attorney, said after the organization released the report.
This is the case even though a federal judge ordered the administration to reunite families that had already been separated.
The TCRP report is based on screening and/or interviewing more than 10,000 immigrants being prosecuted for illegal entry in or near McAllen, Texas from June 2018 through December 2018. The organization says this is the first non-governmental data on new family separations since Trump's June 2018 executive order.
The limited scope of the interviews leads the organization to believe these 272 adults aren't the only ones being separated from their children. "If this is happening in McAllen, it is happening in 18 district courts across the southwest border," the report read.
The Trump administration made national and international headlines in the summer of 2018 for aggressively prosecuting every single misdemeanor border-crossing violation, as well as some legal asylum-seekers. This resulted in children being separated from their parents or adult guardians who were awaiting trial.
The United States government, at the direction of Trump, essentially kidnapped thousands of children in such a reckless manner that they did not even keep track of where the children's parents were taken.
"These ongoing separations are despicable," said Sandra Cordero, director of Families Belong Together, blasting the Trump administration's "deliberate campaign to inflict trauma on children by forcibly tearing them from their parents."
While 38 of the cases involved taking a child away from their parent or legal guardian, the majority involve separating children from other relatives, including aunts, uncles, siblings, and grandparents.
In one case, an 11-year-old boy was taken away from an uncle who had been caring for him since the child's mother died of cancer.
In a statement to the AP, the Trump administration defended this practice because the Homeland Security Act "does not make concessions for anyone other than a parent or legal guardian."
But the Trump administration position did not sit well with lawyers from the ACLU, who point out that it's not right to separate children from family members just because they aren't their parents.
"What's happening is the government is doing separations unilaterally without any process to contest the separations and without a child welfare expert overseeing the separations," Lee Gelernt, an ACLU lawyer, told the AP.
Trump's hostility toward immigrants has been well-documented throughout his campaign and time in the White House.
And his cruelty has inflicted incalculable harm upon thousands of innocent children.
Published with permission of The American Independent.