El Paso | Confusion reigned Friday in the United States on the situation of more than 2,300 minors forcibly separated from their families, a consequence of the policy of “zero tolerance” of the Trump administration that seems to have nothing planned to bring them together.
While heartbreaking testimony from parents without news of their children continues to rain in the US media, congressional officials in Washington seem far from passing a law that would permanently prevent these separations in the future, regardless of the occupant of the White House.
A key vote on an immigration reform proposed by the Republican majority has been postponed to next week in the House of Representatives, lack of consensus in their ranks.
“The situation is absolutely chaotic. There are so many unanswered questions and there seems to be no plan to reunite parents and children, “Matt Clausen, president of WOLA, an organization specializing in human rights advocacy, told AFP. ‘Man on the American continent.
“It makes me mad because at every moment I wonder” How is she? Did she eat? Do they take care of her? “, CNN Cindy Madrid, the Salvadorian mother of a girl in a shelter, testified.
The voice of her six-year-old daughter reciting by heart the number of an aunt living in the United States, heard with other children in tears on a recording released Monday by the ProPublica website, helped mobilize public opinion.
Two days later, Donald Trump announced that he was returning to his policy of systematic separations of families arrested for illegally crossing the border with Mexico, implemented in early May. It had, however, been firmly demanded by senior White House officials who relied on its deterrent effect.
” I love you “
Some parents were able to find their children in poignant scenes, but the administration did not explain clearly if these minors were among the 700 separated between October 2017 and April or the more than 2300 sent since May in shelters and camps mounted in haste.
“I love you,” a crying Guatemalan mother whispers as she picks up her seven-year-old boy she found Friday morning at Baltimore airport. They were reportedly arrested on 19 May.
“There are still thousands of kids for whom we have to do something,” said CNA lawyer Mario Williams.
The fate of the children seems to have moved to the First Lady, who partly pushed the president to sign his decree, by the seventy’s own admission.
How can I help to reunite these children with their families as quickly as possible? Asked Melania Trump during a surprise visit to a Texas shelter on Thursday.
Overflowing, several associations that try to unite them on Thursday denounced the “chaos”. Alan Shapiro, a pediatrician who has visited several centers for the American Academy of Pediatrics, said he saw children “who can no longer speak,” others who have become incontinent or prostrate.
The Pentagon has been ordered to prepare to house on military bases 20,000 migrant minors who have entered the United States unaccompanied by adults.
” Cruelty “
If the Trump decree ends the separations, his alternative – keeping the children with their parents as long as their criminal proceedings can last – also scandalizes.
“We oppose the separation of children from their families for migratory control, but we also oppose detentions,” said Friday a spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), Christophe Boulierac .
“The decree replaces the cruelty of family separations with the cruelty of family detentions,” denounces Matt Clausen of WOLA. “There is more humane alternative than the terrible tragedy of incarcerating everyone.”
“Kidnapper children” could be read on the banners brandished Friday by protesters in front of the home of the Minister of Homeland Security, Kristjen Nielsen, near Washington.
But Donald Trump does not seem ready to falter, accusing the Democrats and his predecessors of letting deteriorate the immigration system, too lax.
“We can not allow our country to be invaded by illegal immigrants while Democrats tell their bogus stories of sadness and mourning, hoping it will help them in elections,” he said on Twitter.
With the new immigration reform postponed for months, he called on Republicans to “stop wasting their time on immigration until more senators and the House (Republicans) in November “, in elections that will renew all the seats of the House and a third of the Senate.