People in Nebraska who have been watching the developments of the recent wave of immigration efforts by the current government administration have reason to be concerned. The United States positions itself as a leader in human rights across the globe yet it has led the way in taking more than 2,500 children from their parents. This is due to a policy referred to as zero tolerance for immigrants coming into the country illegally, specifically when crossing the border from Mexico.
While the practice of taking children away from their mothers and fathers has ceased, it has left in its wake a trail of problems including how and when these children will ever be reunited with their parents. A federal judge originally ordered this reunification to happen with a set timetable as reported by Think Progress. For any child four years old and younger, the government had two weeks to return them to a parent. For children over four, the timeline was extended by 16 days.
The deadline for young children to be reunited with their parents has come and gone and 57 out of the 103 taken remain scattered throughout the 106 government-run centers nationwide. A total of 365 children five and older have been reuinted with their parents out of the 2,551 taken away.
Reports have indicated that the government says some children will not be given back to their parents. This may happen because of a criminal past but also if a parent has been sent back to their home country or if the U.S. government simply cannot find them. Regardless of the reason, many children’s futures remain very uncertain today.