Quick Facts of Trump Era Family Separation & Detention

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Trump Zero Tolerance Policy

  • This policy has the effect of separating parents from their children when they enter the country together. Parents are referred for prosecution and the children are placed in the custody of a sponsor, such as a relative or foster home, or held in a shelter. These are sites of immense child abuse and neglect let alone the traumatization of being separated from their parents. (Source)

  • More than 650 children were separated from their parents during a two-week period in May as a result of this new approach being implemented. (Source)

the health impact of separation

  • Children may develop long-term psychological conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and separation anxiety, and run a higher risk of developing heart disease and diabetes later in life. There is also the possibility of behavioural impacts. Nelson says children - boys in particular - may begin exhibiting a "callous indifference" for the feelings of others. They may have difficulties with memory, impulse control and become more prone to delinquent behaviour. (Source)
  • After forced removal of Native children from 1860 to 1978 “Minnesota’s Department of Human Services found that the children who were removed were “at great risk for experiencing psychological trauma leading to long-term emotional and psychological problems as adults” due to losing cultural and family connections.” t

  • “Decades of psychological research show that children separated from their parents can suffer severe psychological distress, resulting in anxiety, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, withdrawal, aggressive behavior, and decline in educational achievement. The longer the parent and child are separated, the greater the child’s symptoms of anxiety and depression become,” (Source)


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Muslim Ban

  • The recent travel ban on 7 countries (5 with Muslim majorities) was recently upheld in the Supreme Court on June 26, 2018 in a 5-4 decision. This ban indefinitely suspends or restricts visas to applicants from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, and Venezuela.

  • How is this a form of family separation? Let’s use Iran as an example. By some estimates there are as many as one million Iranian-Americans, and many have relatives in Iran who may now not be able to emigrate or visit. (Source)



criminal justice system & immigration

  • ICE was created in 2003 following 9/11 to protect homeland security. This quickly turned into the weaponization of a tragedy to vilify brown people and has now become a rogue government office that kidnaps people from their communities and deports them without accountability.

  • The creation and widespread expansion of ICE and immigration detention centers is not unprecedented as we saw this same shift happen following the emancipation of black people in the 19th century. Mass incarceration is the stone used to both benefit the prison industrial complex while also vilifying people of color and maintaining the racial hierarchy that this country was founded on.

  • Unfortunately, because companies have been allowed to profit off of incarceration and policing we see “public safety” become prioritized when the economy hits a plateau or when profits decrease. For example, JP Morgan has increased their investment in detention centers 97 times since Trump’s inauguration because his policies have resulted in a stable and highly profitable industry at the expense of young children and families of color.