Author: Daphne Psaledakis
A U.S. State Department report on human trafficking warned on Thursday that removing children from their families made them easy targets for traffickers, raising questions about the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children and parents illegally crossing the U.S-Mexico border.
The annual Trafficking in Persons report looked at 187 countries and territories and ranked them into four tiers. In a special section, the State Department said children should only be removed from their families as a “temporary, last resort.”
John Sifton, an advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, said the report “is an indictment of the Trump administration’s own policies with respect to asylum seekers and others seeking entry into the United States.”
Since April, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents as a result of U.S. President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal immigrants. Children were kept in shelters while their parents waited to have their cases heard by a judge.
Faced with criticism at home and abroad, Trump signed an executive order on June 20 requiring families be detained together for the duration of legal proceedings, but many could remain apart as legal challenges drag on.