Disturbing Drawings Made By Caged Migrant Children Reveal Their Horrific Condition

Disturbing Drawings Made By Caged Migrant Children Reveal Their Horrific Condition

After being handed over by the CBP, migrant kids were asked to express in drawing their time at the detention facilities.

Children who were recently separated from their migrant parents at the US Customs and Border Protection custody drew some really disturbing images of people locked behind bars. After being released by the CBP, three kids between the age of 10 and 11 spoke their minds through sketches last week at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas reported CNN. The kids were asked to share their experience at the CBP via a drawing and the results were handed over to the American Academy of Pediatrics, who then gave it to CNN.


The former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics,  Dr. Colleen Kraft revealed. "The fact that the drawings are so realistic and horrific gives us a view of what these children have experienced." Further expressing her concern she said, "When a child draws this, it's telling us that child felt like he or she was in jail." Kraft informed how their group has been trying to advise CBP to carry out procedures in a way that the kids are shielded away from such brutality, however, every meeting that has been initiated to date had ended without the existence of any helpful results.


Alongside her colleagues, Kraft conducted three meetings in the months of December, January, and February, with the then commissioner of the federal agency, Kevin McAleenan. According to the outlet, McAleenan, who now is the acting secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security asked for a meeting after the demise of two children in the custody of CBP. Andrew Meehan, the assistant commissioner for CBP's public affairs told the news outlet, "We're going to continue to seek the AAP's input as we tackle the crisis."


A disappointed Kraft revealed her discontentment at these talks not leading to a more conclusive result where the pediatricians should have been placed at the borders to train CBP medical personnel. "We made recommendations and our government didn't follow through with them," said Kraft. During Dr. Sara Goza's two recent visits to the CBP facilities last week, the current president of AAP" did not encounter a single pediatrician at either one." Elaborating further she said, "The first thing that hit me when we walked in the door was the smell. It was the smell of sweat, urine, and feces."


The concerned health professional also said, "No amount of time spent in these facilities is safe for children." The pediatricians' group has been looking forward to educating the CBP medical personnel to distinguish between a severe and mild illness. Now, if the training would have been completed by now, then maybe 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo's and 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin's life could have been saved. Both the kids passed away in December. While Alonzo died of the flu, Maquin succumbed to sepsis. 


Exposing CBP's limitations, Kraft said, "CBP agents are police. They're law enforcement. They have an important job to do, but they're not trained to take care of children." She also added that the team of pediatricians are more than ready to assist. "We have pediatricians who would volunteer to go to the border tomorrow and work with these children and advise medical personnel and train them," she said. "That's still our ask, but it's gotten nowhere."


In a recent report, a pediatrician at the El Paso hospital revealed that CBP's screening for migrant kids in custody is "absolutely and unequivocally inadequate." Meanwhile, another senior health expert at the Department of Homeland Security begged to disagree. He then explained how the Border Patrol agents provided a questionnaire to every migrant which included queries about their current and past health conditions. They are also asked about the medications they have been taking. The migrants are asked to enlist the symptoms (if any) of any communicable diseases like flu, measles, and mumps. 


Apart from that, he informed how children below the age of 17 are provided a medical assessment, which includes a physical examination. Michael Friel, a spokesman for the CBP informed of the usage of a video provided by the AAP, which is used to train the officers at the facilities. Discrediting the value of a video Kraft said, "There is no one to mentor these emergency medical technicians who are evaluating these kids. A video is a good start, but you need the onsite mentorship and training" She also added, "We don't want to destroy any relationship built with CBP, but at the same time, clearly things are not going well."


Stressing on the negative impact of such activities, Kraft warns of the long-term trauma these immigrant children face. "This is truly a very dark spot in US history," she said. "This will be remembered as a time when the US was cruel to immigrant children. It makes me wonder what kind of country are we that we would treat children this way."


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