Twitter User Highlights Health Hazards 'Tender Age' Immigrant Children Might Face Without Their Parents

"Good parenting is a learned skill. What parenting classes have DHS' contractors taken?"

Despite the fact that President Donald J. Trump reversed his own administration's position on forcibly separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border just yesterday, children in "tender age" shelters have yet to be reunited with their parents as a result of the government's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. 

Few officials have addressed precisely how they plan to care for these children as they live in limbo. Twitter user Asher Wolf, however, took to Twitter to explain exactly what the occupants of these "tender age" shelters could face if they continue to be without their parents or childcare professionals. 

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"They have feeding or sleeping difficulties and they lose weight fast," she tweeted, noting that children require individualized attention in order to get well and remain healthy over time — the precise role their parents would play if they hadn't been torn apart. "They don't remember to drink water or take a feed unless their care-giver reminds them. And when they're sick, they just roll off the teat and fall asleep and you worry so hard they're too sick, too weak."

"And when they're little they say "I'm fine! Don wanna leave the park!" when they're burning up with a fever, and so you have to keep an eye on them, because they won't tell you when they're sick until they're so sick it's a problem," she added.

"Sometimes they just need to curl up on your lap and be told everything is OK and fall asleep against you. And no contractor and a cage can give children that," she wrote. "All the heartache, bone-crunching work that goes into raising beautiful babies into awesome ppl goes out the window when you separate them from their parents and incarcerate them."

"Raising children is the art of socializing wild creatures into people who can participate in society and the community. And you can't socialize children kept in cages," she explained. "For the first year of my son's life I talked to him constantly. If he looked at a flower or a book, I explained it to him, until he discovered words for himself. No one teaches children in cages the joys of language and comprehension."

"When our kids are little, we're their personal bodyguards. No one does that for kids kept locked in cages," Wolf added. "We teach our kids emotional resonance ... toddlers in cages can only model their core responses from guards and other traumatized toddlers. Brutal outcomes, a lifetime of damage ... Good parenting is a learned skill. What parenting classes have DHS' contractors taken?"

As Wolf concluded, the idea of bombarding toddlers with strangers — the very people she'd advise her toddler to ignore — fills her with rage, as "babies, toddlers and kids need their parents and they need to be free in the community." 

While the term "tender age" might sound somewhat gentle and harmless, many are comparing these detention centers to internment camps, and the U.N. described the policy as a potential violation of the children's human rights.

To learn more about how you can help the immigrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, click here.

Cover image via Lightspring / Shutterstock

(H/T: Scary Mommy)

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