Health and Wellness

Holding their kids, activists walk out on Senate hearing in protest of migrant child detention

Immigrant rights advocates, some holding their children’s hands and others carrying babies in their arms, walked out of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing Tuesday in protest of the Trump administration’s effort to keep migrant children detained longer, perhaps even indefinitely.

“They’re talking about numbers, but they need to see babies,” said demonstrator Jorge Silva as he held his baby daughter Isabel. “They need to see parents with their babies in their arms. When they talk about beds, and when they talk about numbers, we hope they see that this is what they’re talking about.”


They won’t divide us. Americans always come together to right wrongs. We hit the streets, halls of Congress, and then the voting booths. #FamiliesBelongTogether

— Beatriz Lopez (@Beatrizluthor) September 18, 2018

The administration is attempting to replace family separation with family detention by modifying a decades-old agreement, which, though flimsy, limits how long and under what conditions kids can be detained. But children do not belong in detention, period, and the government’s attempt to eviscerate this agreement stands to harm kids permanently. “Even brief stays in detention,” said Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, “can lead to psychological trauma and lasting mental health risks.”

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