Amnesty International on Monday said that President Donald Trump is breaking U.S. and international torture laws by using “coercive” tactics that “intentionally” cause mental suffering on immigrant children that have been separated from their families.
In a statement released Monday, the human right organization called the Trump administration’s “no tolerance” policy for undocumented immigrant families “sickening.”
“This is a spectacularly cruel policy, where frightened children are being ripped from their parent’s arms and taken to overflowing detention centers, which are effectively cages,” Amnesty International Americas Director Erika Guevara-Rosas said. “This is nothing short of torture. The severe mental suffering that officials have intentionally inflicted on these families for coercive purposes, means that these acts meet the definitions of torture under both U.S. and international law.”
“There is no question that President Trump administration’s policy of separating mothers and fathers from their children is designed to impose severe mental suffering on these families, in order to deter others from trying to seek safety in the USA,” Guevara-Rosas added. “This is a flagrant violation of the human rights of these parents and children and is also a violation of U.S. obligations under refugee law.”
Amnesty said that the organization had interviewed 17 families who have been separated from their children and found that “all but three of them had entered the USA legally to request asylum.”
“Make no mistake, these family separations are a crisis of the government’s own making,” Guevara-Rosas explained. “The U.S. government is playing a sick game with these families’ lives by playing politics with what is a serious and mounting refugee crisis.”