More than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents as part of a six-week crackdown on illegal immigration along the southwest U.S. border.
After mounting pressure, President Donald Trump called for families stopped at the border to be detained together, but it was unclear whether the order would face legal challenges over how minors could be held.
Trump said, “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated," a day after he defended the policy of separation, emphasizing that the extreme measures were necessary to protect both the children and the country.
Photographs of caged holding facilities for minors and harrowing stories of families being torn apart at the border has flooded the media in recent weeks. Many of the families are seeking asylum in the U.S., claiming they are fleeing dangerous situations in their home countries.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, said, “The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable."
It was unclear how or when the thousands of children who have been separated from parents would be reunited with their families.
These images offer an intimate look at the passions and anguish that fed the national furor and continue to affect the lives and fates of thousands of families.