When a public health official warned President Trump that his family separation policy would cause children "traumatic psychological injury," he went ahead and did it. Now we've seen the aftermath: children crying behind chain-link fences, babies returned to their mothers covered in lice, babies not remembering their mothers at all. It's not hard to see that what's happened to these children will cause lifelong harm.
But what's going on behind the scenes is even more alarming: There are reports of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents kicking and hitting detained children. So while Trump is taking his time to reunite the families he tore apart – missing last week's court-ordered deadline – children are being abused.
The stories of abuse are not new. In May, we unearthed 30,000 pages of documents proving physical, sexual, and verbal abuse of children under the custody of CBP dating back to 2009. The details our report uncovered are shocking: CBP agents shooting children with Tasers and stun guns, running children over with patrol vehicles, threatening children with rape and death, and much more.
These abuses are not only unconscionably inhumane, but they also violate U.S law and international human rights law, which protect migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers – no matter their country of origin. Many of these children are fleeing violence in Mexico and Central America – and tragically, CBP has shattered that dream for so many.
There's no time to waste: With so many children still separated from their parents, we need to take action right now to stop the abuse. Sign the petition: CBP must put an end to the abuse of children in its custody.