The Michigan Department of Civil Rights issued a strong condemnation of the Trump administration’s practice of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border on Tuesday, noting that minors as young as three months have been sent to Michigan for care.
“This week, I have been in touch with various agencies and organizations working with these vulnerable children. We have received reports and are very concerned that the children arriving here are much younger than those who have been transported here in the past," Agustin Arbulu, the Department of Civil Rights' executive director, said in the statement.
"Some of the children are infants as young as three months of age and are completely unable to advocate for themselves," Arbulu continued. "While we commend the work of resettlement agencies in Michigan attempting to serve these children with dignity and compassion, nothing can replace the love, sense of security and care of a parent.”
Also on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported on the existence of “tender age” facilities the Trump administration has set up in Texas to detain infants and toddlers.
Department of Health and Human Services official Steven Wagner told the AP “tender age” includes children under 13 years:
“We have specialized facilities that are devoted to providing care to children with special needs and tender age children as we define as under 13 would fall into that category,” he said. “They’re not government facilities per se, and they have very well-trained clinicians, and those facilities meet state licensing standards for child welfare agencies, and they’re staffed by people who know how to deal with the needs — particularly of the younger children.”