Hundreds of protesters gathered in cities across the country Tuesday—including in San Francisco; New York City; Philadelphia; El Paso, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Portland, Oregon—to denounce the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, in violation of international human rights law.. Mental health professionals are also continuing to denounce the practice. “The negative impact on functioning of children can even continue into adulthood. It can impact their academic achievement. It can have a long-term impact on their ability to have normal attachment to family members and loved ones. And the psychological quality of life is devastated” Kathryn Hampton with Physicians for Human Rights said.
On Tuesday, Republican and Democratic governors of eight states—Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, Rhode Island, Colorado, New York, North Carolina and Connecticut—said they would either withhold or recall their National Guard troops from the border, in protest of the practice of separating children.
The Associated Press reports babies and toddlers are being detained in at least three so-called baby jails in South Texas—in Brownsville, Raymondville and Combes—with a fourth “baby jail” slated to open soon in Houston. The government calls them “tender age shelters.” Many of the children are under 1 year old.
Border Patrol says it has separated more than 2,300 kids in the last two months. The Intercept reports the Trump administration has separated at least 3,700 immigrant children from their parents since October, many of whom have come to the United States seeking asylum. The separated children have been sent to detention facilities in at least 17 states.