4-Month-Old Baby Is Youngest To Be Separated From Parents At Border

The Youngest Child Separated From Parents At The Border Was Only 4 Months Old

children-border-detention-protest
MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty

The youngest person separated from their family at the border was a four-month-old baby

Shocking stories of trauma and cruelty emerge weekly from the border crisis, where the Trump Administration’s xenophobic policies only seem to make things worse for the growing number of migrants desperately trying to enter the United States to seek asylum. Many of the stories are related to Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” policy, which separated thousands of minors from their parents, all without tracking families in a reliable manner, and all without a plan of what to do next.

Just this week, the New York Times reported on the person that could be the youngest to be separated from his parents before federal judges struck down the policy – a baby named Constantin Mutu, who was just four months old when taken from his mom and dad.

Unlike most families at the border, the Mutu family is from Romania. His parents, Vasile and Florentina, are Roma, a minority group with a long history of enslavement, violence, forced sterilization, and discrimination in Europe. After a life of poverty, begging, and odd jobs, the family sold their house and left for Mexico, where someone promised to transport them to the U.S. border, where they could seek a new life. Of their five children, they brought their youngest two with them, including four-month-old Constantin.

Vasile and Florentina were separated on a bus ride to the border, and with no way to communicate, Vasile and the baby, who was running a fever, crossed to a border station and asked for asylum. But during the process, border authorities took the baby from his father without explanation. He was so crushed that he cried constantly while detained over the next two months — he would even be beaten by his cell mates and given a psychological evaluation.

“The police wiped the floor with me,” he told the Times through a translator. “I started crying because I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t speak English. I told them, ‘I don’t understand. Why?’”