The tragedy after Fuego’s violent eruption on Sunday continues to unfold. Rescue teams have abandoned search efforts and families are now facing a psychological crisis as their hopes of finding their loved ones fade. At least 99 have been killed and dozens are still missing. There are more than 4,000 people accomodated in 21 temporary shelters out of more than 12,000 who have been evacuated. Esbin, age 3, Guatemala. Photo Credit: Save the Children Guatemala.

Children like Esbin from Guatemala are benefiting from Save the Children’s ongoing and emergency response programs. Save the Children Guatemala, June 2018. 

Save the Children CEO: ‘Every Day a Child Remains Separated or Detained Causes Irreparable Harm’

Statement from Carolyn Miles, President & CEO, Save the Children about the situation at the U.S.-Mexico Border

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (July 26, 2018) – In anticipation that the United States government will again fail to meet a court mandated deadline to reunite children separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children issued the following statement:

Today is the court-mandated deadline for the U.S. government to reunite thousands of children with their parents, after having ripped them apart at the U.S.-Mexico border. After learning this week that more than 460 parents were deported without their children, it is highly unlikely that the government will meet this deadline. These children have gone months not knowing when or if they’ll be reunited their parents again. Some may not. As a mother and a life-long humanitarian, this manmade crisis is gut-wrenching. Save the Children remains gravely concerned for the safety and wellbeing of these children and families, who continue to be traumatized by actions taken by our government.

It’s infuriating that the federal government did not have a plan for reunifying children with their parents while heartlessly tearing them apart. Young children and adolescents have been held without their parents in prison-like conditions for extended periods, with little attention paid to their emotional and physical wellbeing. This indefinite detention is inhumane and an unacceptable way to treat children.

Even if the government reunites hundreds of families by today’s deadline, there will be still hundreds more children who will continue to wait in detention centers while their parents are located because the government has not kept in touch with the parents they deported and because they did not have a plan or adequate documentation to support safe and rapid reunification of the children. We know from our nearly 100 years of child protection and social and emotional expertise that every day a child remains separated or detained causes irreparable harm.

Save the Children is calling for the fast, safe reunification of children and their parents, and together with our supporters, we’re calling on Congress to investigate claims of abuse immediately. We will continue to do what is right for the world’s children through our own programs in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico to address the root causes of this mass migration as well as fuel the work of trusted partners including the ACLU, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) to support the best interest and wellbeing of children.

Save the Children will always put the best interest of children first in all that we do and will hold others accountable to do the same. 

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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