Can anybody tell me what did a 7-year-old girl from Africa do to the US to go through one of the worst imaginable traumas in life as immigration agents separated her from her mother?
The little Congolese girl (so far known only as S.S.) is definitely not a terrorist, nor anyone has suggested that her mother is one. There is no evidence that she was involved in smuggling, contraband, or any other form of lawbreaking. In contrary, her mother presented them both to U.S. officials, four months ago when they crossed the border from Mexico. The 39-year-old mother and her daughter fled extreme violence in Congo.
The asylum officer who interviewed the mother determined that her fear of harm is real and they could both literally get killed it they would return to Congo.
The immigration agents have now decided that wrenching S.S. from her mother is the right thing to do, whereupon the mother “could hear her daughter in the next room frantically screaming that she wanted to remain with her mother,” as stated in the lawsuit filed on her behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union.
S.S. and her mother could have been placed together in a family detention center, make no mistake. So far there isn`t any allegation that the girl’s mother is an unfit parent and no official explanation has been issued of why they have been separated. The only logical explanation (if it can be called that) is the idea of discouraging future asylum seekers that the United States is actually crueler than their native country.
The U.S. has never been associated with gratuitous malice towards children, but Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen seems determined to change that.
According to a Homeland Security spokesman so far the department does not have a policy in place regarding the separation of asylum-seeking parents and their children.
As stated in the ACLU lawsuit, the 7-year-old girl is currently being held at a facility in Chicago, and she has been allowed only to speak with her mother, held in San Diego, by phone only.