One week after a senator made headlines when he attempted to enter a Walmart that had been converted into a detention center for immigrant children and he was removed by police, a congresswoman is speaking out about her visit to a federal prison facility where dozens of immigrant women seeking asylum were separated from their children with no warning.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal visited a facility near #Seattle
and met with more than 170 women who were transferred after they were taken into custody near the southern U.S. border, and she told The Nation that more than one-third of the women had been separated from their children—some because they were captured by immigration officers and some because they turned themselves in and were seeking asylum.
The ages of the children ranged anywhere from babies to teenagers, and Jayapal said that while a few mothers were notified that their children had been placed in foster care, the majority do not know where their children are, and did not know they were going to be taken from them. “Thirty to 40 percent of these women came with children who had been forcibly taken away from them. None got a chance to say goodbye to their children—they were forcibly taken away. One said she was deceived because they were in detention together. Then the CBP officers told her she was going out to get her photograph taken. When she came back, she was put in a different room, and she never got to see the child again. Some of them said they could hear their children screaming for them in the next room.” The individual cases are horrific, and Jayapal said that one mother who brought her 8- and 12-year-old children to the U.S. seeking asylum from #Guatemala
, was separated from them and is now terrified that her husband—who is going to be released from prison soon after serving time for raping a child—will come after them. 🖐🏾More in comments👇🏾