The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released photos of drawings made by young children who had just been released from Customs and Border Patrol custody and they are devastating. The black-and-white stick-figure drawings by 10 and 11-year-olds show frowning or expressionless faces, children sleeping on the floor under the watch of guards, and crisscrossed lines depicting cages.
Silent children with mylar blankets in cages-- AAP President-Elect Dr. @sallygoza spoke to @CBSThisMorning about the conditions she saw while touring facilities holding immigrant children at the U.S. southern border. https://t.co/DasXw5xNaP— Amer Acad Pediatrics (@AmerAcadPeds) July 3, 2019
These drawings hammer home the warnings from the AAP about the effects of family separation and detention on young kids.
“Studies of detained immigrants, primarily from abroad, have found negative physical and emotional symptoms among detained children, and posttraumatic symptoms do not always disappear at the time of release,” the AAP wrote in their report on the effects of detaining migrant children. “Young detainees may experience developmental delay and poor psychological adjustment, potentially affecting functioning in school.”
The same report, as well as first-hand accounts from AAP agents, describe filthy and inhumane conditions inside these detention centers.
“When they opened the door the first thing that we, that hit us, was the smell,” incoming AAP President Dr. Sara Goza told CBS News. “It was the smell of sweat, urine, and feces.”
It’s no wonder that the drawings coming out of these kids are so grim. Goza also noted that though there was overcrowding, there was very little child-like behavior coming out of the children in these cages: “There was no laughing, no joking, no talking.”
Many people are disturbed by the drawings and the glimpse they offer into the mindset of children who have already been released from custody.
You don't need 28 years of teaching experience to understand the trauma radiating from this picture. I'm surprised that this child was able to find something to write with. They don't even give them crayons or any kind of tools to help them pass time or release stress. https://t.co/MJucDJymUx— Chris D (@ChrissyD_RESIST) July 4, 2019
Drawings by migrant children in detention show them in cages #SmartNews How is this any different than what was done to immigrants from Asia on Angel Island - a detention center. They carved poems into the walls detailing their mistreatment. https://t.co/zGj94qCSLf— Thomas Waranavage (@MrWarHistory) July 4, 2019
#Immigrant children in # detention: This is a sad travesty and a nightmare epoch. The inly ones who should be caged are the present leaders who engineered, advocated and enforced thus horror!— Hajh (@Hajh) July 3, 2019
‘Drawings by migrant %children who were in detention... https://t.co/6VGBoveXwM
Like so many immigrants before, these kids fled hardship in pursuit of safety & hope. Our country met them with cages & contempt.— Rep. Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) July 4, 2019
On #IndependeceDay I am thinking of these kids, who are anything but free. Our nation’s highest values must apply to everyonehttps://t.co/Gwb5tV3jW2
Children in unsanitary conditions without adult supervision; thousands of allegations of sexual abuse. If we're not outraged now, if we're not calling representatives and donating to immigrant rights groups now, when?https://t.co/GDyqbRrUya— Taka Tanaka (@astrobassball) July 3, 2019
Despicable! Anyone who wants to defend these actions is clearly apart of the problem. If you are not of Native decent your family was once also immigrants of the country! https://t.co/u2L17gptkm
— Kimberly K (@LoveleeKimber) July 4, 2019
.@realDonaldTrump you’re responsible for these drawings. You can allocate money for your nationalistic political 4th of July parade, but can’t fund facilities that have immigrant children/families locked up in cages in poor conditions? Your priorities make me sick. pic.twitter.com/I0nIFm7yN0— Jayson Frascatore (@JaysonFras) July 3, 2019
So f-ing angry. @ my coffee place tv playin drawings by detained immigrant kids, and so help me they look just like drawings in exhibitions of child art from the camps in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s regime and Terezin in Hitler’s Reich. https://t.co/4kW7MRqy59 via @YouTube— Ed (@IggyCurtis) July 3, 2019
Silent children occures where danger is likely & no safety or support accessible. Turns down CNS to feign accommodation & reduce fearbased #SomaticFlooding from their natural Terror response. Forever traumatized in a hell only the monsters who did this should live & suffer with!
— LRosce (@cedar_leda) July 4, 2019
These chilling black line drawings were relayed to Dr. Goza by a mental health clinician/social worker specializing in Latino child trauma. https://t.co/U4ZJfNTncx— Hrag (@hragv) July 4, 2019
Unconscionable. Horrific. Vile. No words are adequate for what our government is doing. -'Drawings by children who were held in border facilities show them in cages' https://t.co/zL6XvQLla3— Elizabeth Dutro (@lifeasstory) July 4, 2019
These are drawings from migrant children being detained at the border right now.— autumn ???? (@watercolorskye) July 3, 2019
This is inhumane and evil.
We cannot celebrate our “freedom” tomorrow while this is happening in our country.
If any one of us are not free, NONE of us are free. #CloseTheConcentrationCamps pic.twitter.com/CsNuJ0yfcf
These war-zone conditions; this from the most prosperous nation on earth. Migrant children's drawings depicting time spent in US Customs & Border Protection custody. No Republican deserves their citizenship for this. to This old white dead Republican Party must go. #Shame pic.twitter.com/KeBbXr4Dqt— Jerry Saltz (@jerrysaltz) July 3, 2019
BREAKING: Here are disturbing drawings by young children about their time held in Border Patrol custody. Trump’s an international disgrace. He’s abusing these refugee children. He should be forced to resign and thrown in prison for it. This is un-American. #BoycottTrump4thOfJuly pic.twitter.com/IZXJLwqvUH— Scott Dworkin (@funder) July 3, 2019
The time will come soon when the world will hold accountable those responsible for this. From those at the facilities to the decision-makers, including #POTUS and all the supporters that sat silent.https://t.co/OIWNdtp0F6— Todd Weiler (@taweiler) July 4, 2019
On the eve of celebrating a hard-fought Independence from tyranny, it's hard to stomach that this is our state of liberty: https://t.co/WJg9fnOkyG— Will Hubbard (@Hubbard_WJ) July 3, 2019
A Stark and chilling indication of the humanitarian crisis at the border. How have we come to a place where cruelty toward children is a US policy? https://t.co/FKw1w62LVv— Jason Eckardt (@jasoneckardt) July 3, 2019
2 drawings by children imprisoned by 2 governments — the 1st is by a child of the Holocaust…the 2nd by a child held by U.S. Customs & Border Patrol. pic.twitter.com/OhAMZnmlN7
— Reason vs. Treason (@reasonvstreason) July 3, 2019
So glad tens of millions of dollars were spent on a military parade that didn’t happen yesterday while this is going on.