Asylum-seeker Sindy Flores says her child is “different” following a month-long separation at the hands of immigration officials that finally ended this week. Like thousands of other children who have been stolen from families at the southern border by the Trump administration, 1-year-old Grethshell is hurting.
“My daughter’s different from the last time I saw her,” Flores said through an interpreter. “She was very playful, very very happy, and now she’s afraid of people and she’s not the same.” In viral video of their reunion at San Francisco International Airport Tuesday evening, Grethshell cries in her chaperone’s arms as Flores reaches out for her, but the child does not reach back.
Experts have stressed that children who have been torn from their parents, “even if for a short time,” will show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. “Every minute that they’re exposed to this kind of serious trauma,” Amie Latterman of the Children’s Council of San Francisco told ABC 7 News, “their brain functionality and development is being affected.”
A group of mothers who were the victims of the Trump administration’s barbaric “zero tolerance” policy have sued the U.S. to get coverage of costs of mental health counseling. The administration is trying to get the lawsuit thrown out, claiming that “The Government does not owe a free-standing duty to provide medical care to former detainees.”