The “no-tolerance” immigration policy of the Trump administration, which led to the cruel act of separating families on the southern border, has been a constant in the news, with images and stories of caged children and distraught parents leading to massive protests around the country.
While fighting against this inhumane policy and acknowledging the trauma associated with being ripped from family, and being held in walmart-turned-dentention facilities or “tent cities”, we should also be pushing the Trump administration for details on the treatment of these young children while they are detained.
With a majority of the of children who were separated from their parents still detained, and no significant timeline or plans to reunite the thousands of separated families, we should be be simultaneously fighting for reunification as well as oversight of the care and services being provided. Without oversight, this administration ends up doing things like losing track of the parents of some of the detained children. We also know that there is a history of abuse and violations at some of these locations.
A recent letter from 17 Democrats on the House education committee attempts to keep the pressure on the current administration, demanding answers on the type of services provided and quality of education being provided to migrant children being held indefinitely.
In the letter, addressed to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and officials from the departments of health and human services and homeland security, democrats demand insight into the “oversight mechanisms and processes” that are currently in place to “ensure the provision of educational, health, and other services.
The lawmakers go on to note that these standards are legally required under federal law as set by precedent in the 1997 supreme court case of flores v. sessions.
In the letter, specific questions are asked of the Trump administration in regards to “tender-age facilities”, locations purported to be holding hundreds of very young children, including toddlers and infants. It also probes into the provision of trauma, health and educational services, including for children with special needs, and demands answers on the status of family reunifications.
Read the full letter below: