ProPublica ran a story recently about what happens once an immigrant child is detained in the United States, refused asylum or a path to legalized status, and subsequently deported back to their home country.
Christmas wasn’t going to be much this year at the Maldonados’ tiny home in eastern El Salvador. Then 6-year-old Wilder arrived, lugging a duffel bag fat with the brightly colored remnants of his brief life in the United States — time he’d spent separated from his father by immigration authorities.
Wilder is one of the nearly 3,000 migrant children who were affected this year by the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy.
(Photo by Hector Emanuel)
Wilder’s father, a struggling 38-year-old farmer, was not aware of the policy when he set out from El Salvador, seeking decent work for himself and a brighter future for his son. He surrendered himself and his son to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers as soon as he crossed the Rio Grande into Texas. But after five days in CBP custody, agents took Wilder away from Maldonado, sending the boy to a temporary foster home in San Antonio and his father to a detention center about an hour’s drive away.
Zero Tolerance is the policy imposed by the Trump administration in early 2018 to deny anyone without a valid visa or other approved immigration document entry to the United States. The policy was deny, detain and deport, with no consideration given to refugees or those requesting asylum.
Read the ProPublica report here.