How is this allowed to happen? The level of inhumanity in this is just something I will never get over.
On Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent a 4-year-old separated child from the U.S. to Guatemala City without telling her family she was coming home.
When Karla, a pseudonym HuffPost is using to protect the child’s identity, arrived in Guatemala, no one came to pick her up at a reunification center near the airport.
Instead of reuniting with her deported father, whom she hadn’t seen since they crossed the U.S. border together six months ago, the child spent yet another night in a government-run shelter, according to Kids In Need of Defense, an organization helping the U.S. government to reunify families.
“Just imagining this 4-year-old going back [home] after months and months of separation … and then her dad didn’t show up after all of this,” said Lisa Frydman, KIND’s director of regional and policy initiatives. “The trauma level is unimaginable.”
Legal and immigration experts say ICE is sending children back to Central America without properly notifying parents of their travel plans. The Department of Justice recently said ICE is only handling only “a relatively small number” of repatriation cases, but advocates say even a handful of situations in which parents aren’t given the proper notice to pick up their children is a major cause for concern.