There are several hundred, young immigrant children, alone, separated from their parents at the US-Mexican border, including those being kept at a facility in East Harlem, where an advocacy choir sang in front of the building Thursday to raise awareness to the plight of separated immigrant families.
“Babies in cages is atrocious. Babies in cages with their mother is an abomination,” said immigration advocate Paola Mendoza.
Inside - they are detained – and fully immersed in the federal foster care system.
Consider all of that, and it is no surprise child welfare advocates are sounding the alarm over what they say will be lasting emotional and psychological trauma inflicted on immigrant children who have yet to be reunited with their parents.
New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray spoke on the issue at Bellevue Hospital.
“Imagine what it feels like, as a parent, and as a child," McCray said. "The trauma caused by this separation is serious and long lasting."
Meantime, Ms. McCray’s husband, Mayor Bill de Blasio, spent the day in Texas, trying unsuccessfully to visit a shelter, on a trip organized by the US Conference of Mayors.
On this week’s edition of PIX11’S Talk It Out, a potent panel of Immigration legal and policy advocates voiced their concern about the path forward.
“The damage is done. I’ve represented children for ten years. And any form of separation from a parent is devastating. This will impact them for life, and hopefully we can minimize that by getting these children back with their parent,” said Beth Krause of the Legal Aid Society of NYC.