Art by Migrant Children in Texas Catches the Smithsonian’s Eye

This drawing, created by a child migrant whose identity is unclear, could end up in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

Thousands of children have...

Thousands of children have been separated from their families because of controversial immigration policies under President Trump, and an influx of migrant families[1] from across the southern border has highlighted the failure of the administration’s hard-line policies to deter them.

Customs and Border Protection officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night.

Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations human rights chief and a former president of Chile, on Monday condemned how the United States treats migrant children[2] arriving from Mexico, saying she was “shocked” at the conditions they faced in detention centers after crossing the border.

And last week, the Department of Homeland Security’s independent watchdog said that squalid, overcrowded conditions at migrant centers along the southern border were more widespread than had previously been revealed[3]. After visiting facilities in the Rio Grande Valley, inspectors from the department’s Office of Inspector General said in a report[4] that they found children with few spare clothes and no laundry facilities, and that many migrants were given only wet wipes to clean themselves and bologna sandwiches to eat, causing health problems.

Sister Pimentel said that children at the respite center in McAllen — the vast majority of whom had migrated from Central or South America — created many pieces of art, and not all of them were about detention.

“Here, children have an opportunity to be children again, because they’ve been scared and they’ve seen their parents crying,” she said. “I believe that these children show a lot of resilience. Many of their drawings show very positive things, and that’s something that’s very beautiful.”

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