Everyday, thousands of people within the U.S. are detained by ICE agents due to their immigration status. Globally, these numbers are at an all-time high due to governments shifting away from democracy. What’s more unsettling is the sheer amount of children that have to pay the price. According to RT, there are over 5 million American children who currently has a parent in jail.

The numbers of detainees is rising, and it’s detainees are continuously getting younger. Just look at other countries in the world such as Turkey, which has over 800 children under the age of six with their mothers in pre-trial detention centers.

Problems we face in the U.S. may shock us more, as there are pictures on news sites that show American border officials prying children away from their mothers due to illegal crossing. Many of us sit here, in the safety of our homes, but can we even imagine this happening to our children and newborn babies?

It does not matter or make a difference if jail officials are renovating the space to be more suitable for children— this does not benefit anyone. We instead need to create new programs for mothers that are appropriate for parent and child — places where children and parents can use that space to rebuild their lives and start fresh.

Raising a child in jail or being imprisoned and separated from one’s child is difficult, especially due to the lack of access to proper playgrounds room and not being able to build a healthy mother-child relationship. When these children see their mother or father in their cell, they think of it as a punishment, and as they grow up assuming that treatment such as this is not okay, but standard.

Children and mothers do not deserve to go through this painful journey. Ultimately, life behind bars just produces stress on the mother and her child. Therefore, we must continue to push for a better environment in order to replenish positivity into their life.

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