Amnesty International Finds Child Detention Policy ‘Nothing Short of Torture’

Curt Wechsler | June 19, 2018

Photo of first thing children see entering Casa Padre

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The rapidly growing number of children forcibly separated from their migrant families under U.S. "zero tolerance" border crossing policy includes 1,469 children imprisoned in an old Walmart outside of Brownsville, Texas. The Trump/Pence administration has begun moving them to a tent city in the desert outside El Paso.

Targeted kidnapping of children by state agents is nothing short of torture, with potentially long-term consequences. American Academy of Pediatrics president Colleen Kraft says the toxic stress of separation from trusted caregivers or parents inflicts serious damage to children, especially those under 5 years old, disrupting brain development and raising levels of flight-or-fight hormones, and increasing the potential for future health problems like chronic heart disease and substance abuse.

"Every great fascist catastrophe in history has seen a moment on the eve of the final calamity when it could have all been thwarted," writes Truthout columnist William Rivers Pitt. "This is that moment, right now, on Father's Day. Here, now, they must be stopped, or there will be no stopping them."