The Trump administration's immigration policy leading to the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents is “nothing short of torture”, the Amnesty International said Monday in a statement lambasting President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” stance on illegal border crossings.
“This is a spectacularly cruel policy, where frightened children are being ripped from their parent’s arms and taken to overflowing detention centers, which are effectively cages," the human rights organization said in a statement.
“This is nothing short of torture. The severe mental suffering that officials have intentionally inflicted on these families for coercive purposes, means that these acts meet the definitions of torture under both US and international law," the statement added.
The new policy brought criticism from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers and has even drawn rebuke from leaders in the generally supportive Evangelical community.
Trump has nevertheless doubled down:
“The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility — it won’t be,” Trump said at the White House during a meeting for his space council on Monday, adding, “Not on my watch."
The president also continues to falsely blame Democrats for the policy and calling upon lawmakers to fix the problem.
In reality, Trump could end the policy immediately, but the president appears to be using the well-being of migrant children and parents as a negotiating tool to secure funding for his border wall and major changes to U.S. immigration laws.