Canada Also Detains Immigrant Children and Separates Them From Their Fathers

The United States has been the subject of intense international scrutiny for its immigration practice that has resulted in immigrant families being separated at the border. But it appears that neighboring Canada has done the same, but on a much smaller scale.

In 2017, 151 immigrant children were held with their parents in Canadian detention centers. Eleven more kids were held in separate centers away from their parents or guardians, according to the Canada Border Sevices Agency.

The agency could not say why a minor would be unaccompanied by the adult they entered the country with, CBC News reported. But the action of detaining children is seen as a "last resort" and the border agency is ordered to take into consideration other possible solutions that would be in the "best interests of the child," according to Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

In one report by McGill University, which talked to 20 families who were detained in immigration centers in Toronto and Laval about their experiences, it was found that half of the time children were separated from their parents at some point in the process of seeking asylum.

Mothers were normally allowed to stay with their children, the study said, while fathers were kept separate and were only allowed to visit their families for about an hour a day.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been outspoken in his disapproval of the White House's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

"What is going on in the United States is wrong," Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday. "I can't imagine what the families living through this are enduring. Obviously this is not the way that we do things in Canada."

Today, on #WorldRefugeeDay, we honour the resilience and strength of refugees and displaced people, and acknowledge the profound hardships they face.

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 20, 2018

Trudeau is not the only foreign leader to criticize the Trump administration's separation of over 2,342 children at the border.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May also slammed the White House for family separations, saying that "the pictures of children being held in cages are deeply disturbing."

May also added that "this is wrong, not something we agree with and not the UK approach."

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that ended family separations, but it is unclear what will happen to the thousands of children that have already been removed from their parent's care and sent to different shelters across the country.