Last week, the nation was astonished to see the devastating results of President Trump’s family separation policy. According to Elizabeth Yaeger, supervising attorney for our nonprofit partner HIAS Pennsylvania’s Immigrant Youth Advocacy Project, there are at least nine children in the Lehigh Valley who have been separated from their families as a result of this ‘zero tolerance’ program.
Although Pennsylvania has far fewer child separations than states closer to the border, Yaeger has witnessed a consistent stream of children entering PA since the end of May. Western Pennsylvania currently shelters 50 children.
The recent executive order “doesn’t appear to reunite children with their families” says Mary McCabe, a Know Your Rights Coordinator with HIAS Pennsylvania. And if children do rejoin with their relatives, they may remain in detention centers for an extended time.