Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy III, an outspoken critic of the federal policy that left undocumented immigrant families separated at the southern border, visited a New York City foster care facility this week where some of the migrant children are living.
Kennedy, who represents Massachusetts’s 4th Congressional District, visited Cayuga Centers in Harlem, where over 600 unaccompanied migrant children live, according to his office.
Over 150 of those children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border as the result of the “zero tolerance” immigration policy put in place by the Trump administration earlier this year, his office said.
“Even (staff members) said that the level of trauma some of these children have experienced was unlike anything they had ever seen,” Kennedy said in a Facebook Live video posted on Wednesday that detailed his visit. “And let’s be clear: This trauma is, at least in part, being inflicted deliberately by the Trump administration and the United States government as a policy goal to try to deter any other family, any other child, from fleeing poverty, destitution, and desperation and coming to our country.”
Children under the age of 5 were initially supposed to be reunited with their families by Tuesday, but a federal judge extended the deadline, according to NBC News.
Watch Kennedy’s full remarks: