“The child is breastfeeding and is being denied access to her mother.”
At the Dallas-Fort Worth airport on Saturday, a mother from Sudan who is a legal permanent resident was separated from her 11-month-old U.S. born baby. Her child, who is still breastfeeding, was denied access to her mother for hours while attorneys fought to keep her from being deported. Let that sink in for a moment. A mother was physically separated from her child, unable to feed or comfort her for hours. During that time, the mother was being detained alone, likely uncertain of her future in the U.S., a country where she is a legal resident.
Donald Trump’s executive order has disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people since its signature on Friday. Stories are pouring in of people being detained for hours, being removed from planes, and being turned away at airports abroad while trying to return home to the U.S. They are heartbreaking accounts of families being torn apart, careers left in limbo, and thousands facing an uncertain future.
Late Saturday night, four federal judges arbitrated to prevent the deportation of permanent residents and valid U.S. visa holders from being sent back to their home countries. This triggered a legal face-off which played out in airports all across the country as attorneys scrambled to prevent their clients from being illegally removed from the U.S. As chaos and confusion erupted, a Texas attorney shared his outrage as he fought to reunite this mother and child.
In a series of messages, the attorney shared the anxious situation to friends on his Facebook page.
In a post sharing the experience, The Leaky Boob writes, “If something were to happen in a store where a child was separated from her mother and denied breastfeeding, we would be outraged and stage a nurse-in and take to social media demanding not only an apology but training for all employees and staff. This company would be shamed and attacked until they cowered, groveling to the family and masses promising never again to do such a thing.
But this wasn’t a company, it wasn’t a store. It was the United States Government. My country that did this horrible thing to a US citizen.”
Because the federal stay was granted, the lawyer was able to share the good news everyone was waiting for.
Understandably, there is going to be confusion when an order of this magnitude is handed down from the government, causing havoc for immigration agents left processing the carnage on the other end. But to separate a mother and child during that process is unnecessary and cruel. There is nothing to be gained from such action. It is one thing to feel like you have no choice but to uphold the order, but quite another to stop treating people as human beings.
The incident is a stark reminder of just how far we’ve sunk as a nation in such a short time. That is, if we needed another reminder.