Texas Civil Rights Project attorney Natalia Cornelio (pictured) said one of her clients had her baby daughter snatched away by immigration as she was breastfeeding
A Honduran woman claims she had her baby daughter snatched away from her by Immigration officials as she breastfed the infant in a detention center.
The woman shared her heartbreaking story yesterday with attorney Natalia Cornelio, who works as an attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project.
Cornelio told CNN the woman sobbed as she recounted her story, which is becoming more and more common under new no tolerance laws brought in by the Trump administration for undocumented migrants or those who have been caught entering the country illegally.
When the woman resisted officials trying to take her daughter, she says she was handcuffed.
‘The government is essentially torturing people by doing this,’ Cornelio said.
Miguel A. Nogueras, an assistant federal public defender for the Southern District of Texas in McAllen, said parents often had no knowledge of where their children were, as when the children are taken away, they are often not returned.
The woman was in a detention center (pictured is one in 2017) as she was an undocumented immigrant. When she tried to resist officials taking her child, she was handcuffed
Some parents say the children are taken by officials inside the detention camps, with promises to bathe them, and the parent doesn’t see them again.
Nogueras told CNN an unofficial count by another attorney in his office suggests about 500 children have been torn from their parents in the last month alone.
Trump’s new zero-tolerance policy, brought in in May, is intended to discourage families in Central America from trying to claim asylum at the southwest border of the United States.
Those being prosecuted are sentenced at mass trials, where public defenders have mere minutes to meet with each defendant, and when the judge asks a question the entire room must answer in unison to save time.
Many of those standing in the courtroom have no idea where their children are.
A new ‘zero-tolerance’ policy has seen undocumented immigrants face mass trials (pictured) with most not knowing where their children are
The children are taken to detention centers (pictured is on in McAllen, Texas, in 2014) or sometimes put into foster care
Author Padma Lakshmi wrote in a column for CNN it was time to stand up to the new policy, which she says is ripping apart families.
Lakshmi’s mother moved to the US when the author was just two years old, fleeing an abusive husband and intending to settle into a stable life before sending for her daughter.
Author Padma Lakshmi, who moved to the US at four years old, said it was time to stand up to zero tolerance
She said being without her mother during that time ‘affected my confidence and my ability to see the world in a positive light’.
‘When a child is in her mother’s arms – even in chaotic circumstances – all is right in the world,’ she wrote.
Lakshmi said had her mother tried to move to the US now, their story might be completely different – and they may not both have made it into the country.
‘I am not a policy expert or an official,’ she wrote.
‘But it’s time for people like me and you – parents, Americans – to stand up against this unconscionable policy that devastates the most basic and fundamental relationship human beings know.’