The Department of Homeland Security is proposing a new immigration policy that could separate mothers from their children. Reuters reports that to deter illegal immigration to the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services could detain children crossing illegally with their mothers. The government would be able to keep parents in custody while they await asylum hearings or contest their deportation. Health and Human services would send the kids to U.S. relatives or find a state-sponsored guardian in the foster care system.
Under current law, families going through the court process can stay in the U.S. until their cases get resolved, but President Trump is calling for an end to this so-called practice of "catch and release."
According to The Guardian, supporters of the new policy state that some women are willing to face the often-dangerous journey to America with their children because they believe that the system will allow them to stay in America while they await their court dates.
Of course, people are seeing the proposal as inhumane and a violation of human rights. The American Academy of Pediatrics Department of Federal Affairs opposes the proposed changes, saying that the emotional stress could prove to be traumatic.
"Federal authorities must exercise caution to ensure that the emotional and physical stress children experience as they seek refuge in the United States is not exacerbated by the additional trauma of being separated from their siblings, parents or other relatives and caregivers," it wrote in a statement.
U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, told Reuters, "Bottom line: separating mothers and children is wrong. That type of thing is where we depart from border security and get into violating human rights."
Twitter users took to the platform to voice their concerns, as well.
Some didn't like the way that "catch and release" terminology dehumanized immigrants.
Others pointed out that immigration policy is already so complicated that new rules and proposals only muddle the situation.