Children Vancouver, BC, had the lowest total at 17

Children across Canada are stuck behind bars because of immigration issues. These children are being held behind bars because their parents are in the process of getting the correct paper work completed, however; this process may take months to a year. In one scenario, a baby boy, Daevon, only four months old, was brought to the Immigration Holding Centre. This baby boy was held because authorities were trying to deport her (Bochenek, 2017). It is evident from this that the care and well-being of children is not one of their concerns. It is extremely important for a baby to receive proper care, in best case scenarios the baby would be taken care of his/her parents. In another case, a Canadian boy had spent over 2 years behind bars, 803 days to be exact (Bochenek).  Having these children kept behind bars will impact the child’s development. His/her growth into their own individual will be effected because the child was not given the opportunity to live a normal life. The article “Immigration detention statistics 2015” states that   “At least 82 children were detained in 2015. This does not include children who were in detention accompanying a parent, as “guests”. Children were detained for an average of 23 days. Altogether these children spent a total of 1,922 days in detention” (Dench, 2015). Toronto, ON, had the highest total of days behind bars, at 1,389 days, however; Vancouver, BC, had the lowest total at 17 days (Dench).  Out of the 82 children that were detained on 1 was related to danger, the others fall under “identity” and “unlikely to appear” (Dench). In addition to this, each child has a different release date, one may be held for less than a month to over a month.  According to the article, “Caged by Canada”, it states “Canada detained 6,596 people for immigration purposes in the 2015-16 fiscal year, including more than 201 children” (Kennedy, 2017). Combining the two statistics from the data above, the amount of children each year being detained is roughly 100 children. It is heartbreaking to know that so many children are being taken away from their families and are being punished for something they do not have control over. Children are affected by this because they will not have the opportunity to grow as their own individual to their full potential. These children will not have the chance to live the life as a normal child would, there will be no playing outside, no toys and no friends. One story focuses on a young boy, Alpha Anawa, and his mother, Glory Anawa, which are both being held in Toronto’s Immigration Holding Centre. Alpha Anawa was born into the Holding Centre, as a result of his mother being three months pregnant once she entered the Holding Centre (Browne, 2015). According to the article, “The baby’s first words were “radio check”—this is what guards say when they change shifts in the converted hotel that Alpha calls home” (Browne). Usually, a baby’s first words are a version of mother and father, such as; mama and dada. A baby’s first words is one of the many moments any parent looks forward to, unfortunately for Glory, the moment was not filled with joy or happiness. The article states that the author Rachel Kronick saw “troubling evidence that children developed depressive symptoms in detention, anxiety symptoms, including post-traumatic stress disorder” (Browne). The children who are put behind these bars may suffer emotionally after they are released. The child may be angry that they have been punished for something they have no control over or even be angry towards their parents. In addition, the behaviour of the child differs with age, as the child grows more aggression or anxiety is shown. Solutions to stopping children from being in holding centres are more complex than it sounds. The article explains that to improve holding centres would take 138 million dollars (Akman, 2017). As a result of the price being extremely high it may make one wonder the living condition in the holding centres. The children whom are living in the holding centres should not have the same life and living conditions as one who is in prison. Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety, stated “We’re moving in the right direction, my objective is to reduce the number of children in detention to virtually zero” (Akman). In order for this to occur, the first step would be that the children that are Canadian citizens would not be held in detention (Akman).  Solutions to this problem will not happen quickly, it will be a process with debating different and efficient ways to end children in holding centres. However; if a solution were to be successful the damage on the children that have been detained will stick with them.