At least 18 babies and toddlers under the age of two—“including nine infants under the age of one”—were kidnapped from their families by the Trump administration under its barbaric “zero tolerance” policy and kept separated from them anywhere from 20 days to as long as six months, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said in a new report.
“Records confirm that the youngest child separated from his parents was a four-month-old baby boy from Romania who was separated from his 35-year old father upon arrival in February 2018.” That baby, Constantin Mutu, would remain separated from his parents for five months, and the government-sanctioned trauma is undeniable: “Now more than a year and a half old,” The New York Times reported last month, “the baby still can’t walk on his own, and has not spoken.”
Another infant, an eight-month-old baby from Honduras, was stolen from his dad in May 2018 and kept in government custody for nearly six months “before being released for departure from the United States in November”—or, deported. “At the time of his release, the baby had spent nearly half of his life without his parents, in the custody of the Trump administration,” the report said. His dad, meanwhile, had been deported in July. “It is unclear whether the child and father have been reunited.”
The report also confirms that Border Patrol kept children detained for longer than the permitted 72 hours. “Records obtained by the Committee show that some children spent up to a week in CBP detention facilities at the border before being sent to an ORR facility designed to house children.” Not only is this a violation, it’s also dangerous: A team of lawyers who inspected one facility near El Paso, Texas, last month described witnessing dozens of sick kids languishing in filthy conditions.
This is a humanitarian disaster that has not ended. “The majority have been reunited, according to the latest court filing in the case,” CNN reported, meaning children separated under this policy are still separated from their families. Children have also since been stolen from their families under flimsy and outright false pretenses, and that doesn’t even include the children who were stolen before the policy was officially announced. For all this alone, Donald Trump deserves impeachment—and more.