By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, [email protected]
Dozens of children of undocumented families have been sent to Maryland, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun, since Donald Trump enacted his so-called “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has already enabled the separation of thousands of children from their parents in recent weeks.
The Sun reports some of the children are being placed with foster families coordinated by an organization based in Anne Arundel County; most of the children are allegedly coming from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Other children are allegedly being housed in dormitories in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties.
“It’s been hard for us to chase down if kids have been placed here in Maryland,” Kim Propeack, Policy Director for CASA Maryland, a Latino and immigration advocacy and assistance organization, told the AFRO. Propeack says it is difficult to discern if the children who have been sent to Maryland since the zero tolerance policy was implemented officially in April are specifically victims of that policy. She said the bulk of children in recent weeks that have been sent to Maryland have been unaccompanied minors who have crossed the U.S. southern border, not necessarily children that have been forcibly separated from their parents.
“We haven’t had a single one come through our doors yet,” Propeack said. “But, if there is, we demand (Gov.) Hogan to make services available to those families for them to be reunited.” The AFRO reached out to the office of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh for details of any specific policy regarding children of undocumented immigrants who are sent to Baltimore, a city with a burgeoning population of people from Central America. We did not get a response by press time.
Yielding to pressure from both Republicans and Democrats, as well as outrage from different factions in the United States and globally, Trump backed down from his zero tolerance policy and signed an executive order yesterday, officially ending the practice of separating children from their parents.