The Trump administration’s new “surge initiative” on immigration works to locate and arrest any persons who may have paid to have children smuggled across borders and into the United States. Arrests have already begun. Many argue this is a good way of targeting smugglers, while others believe families will be unfairly separated and children will be put in compromising situations.
Sarah Rodriguez, an spokeswoman for ICE claims: “ICE aims to disrupt and dismantle end-to-end the illicit pathways used by transnational criminal organizations and human smuggling facilitators. The sponsors who have placed children directly into harm’s way by entrusting them to violent criminal organizations will be held accountable for their role in these conspiracies.” On the other hand, advocacy groups for migrants believe that children will be unfairly questioned and separated from their parents and relatives. Many believe this new initiative targets children who are simply in need of security and a safe place to call home.
It is difficult to say how far this initiative may be taken and to what extent young children will be questioned. Immigration is a complex issue and it is important to watch the ways in which new policies such as this may evolve. Additionally, it is crucial to avoid simplifying immigration. There is a difference between families longing to be together (despite safety concerns and legal issues) and human trafficking.