This is what’s really happening to kids at the border

Michelle Brané and Margo Schlanger

Reports of mistreatment of migrant children at the U.S. border have been all over the news recently. Hashtags and social media mobilization have brought remarkable attention to children seeking U.S. protection from persecution in their home countries. But the coverage has drummed up its share of confusion, despite multiplying “explainers” — here are some from The Washington Post, the New York Times and Mother Jones. The situation remains complicated, messy and often misunderstood. Let’s sort it out:

Yes, it’s new that children are separated from their parents upon entry into the U.S.

The most important of the recent stories is the separation of children from their parents at the border. This is a new policy of the Trump administration and, notwithstanding the president’s tweet about it over the weekend, no law compels it.

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