The idea was born after three children released from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) custody came under the public spotlight with their drawings last week. The children are currently staying at a center operated by a Catholic church in Texas.
Following CNN’s report on the drawings, a curator for the Smithsonian reached out to CNN and the American Academy of Pediatrics. And a group of pediatricians received photos of the children’s drawings at the McAllen respite center and then released them to the media.
“The museum has a long commitment to telling the complex and complicated history of the United States and to documenting that history as it unfolds,” said the museum to CNN in a statement.
Dr. Sara Goza, the president-elect of American Academy of Pediatrics, who shared the drawings of migrant children with the media, told CBS News in an interview last week that while she toured two of the CBP facilities, she noticed that some children had “no expression on their faces, there was no laughing, there was no joking, no talking.”
She stated that the places she saw looked “almost like dog cages with people in each of them,” adding that there was a smell of “sweat, urine and feces.”
Renee Romano, a professor of history at Oberlin College, praised the Smithsonian for its efforts of documenting the migrant crisis near the U.S. border through children’s point of view.
According to her, the policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the border means “seeing people as less than human.”
The news drew various responses from Twitter users, some claiming that the project would be superficial and not represent the real tragedy going on at the U.S. border, some others saying it would reflect “how irresponsible central American parents are,” while some think it would make “the most fascinating exhibit.”
WHY???? Of course it will not report anything that will reveal- molestation, separation from real parents?
THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN TAXPAYER FUNDED PROPAGANDA! So who is acting like a Nazi???? https://t.co/SE0UqCCYny
— Marsha L. F. Randolph (@Words2Growby) July 8, 2019
Why? To show how stupid and irresponsible central American parents are or how stupid and irresponsible the Demostupids are!
Smithsonian interested in obtaining migrant children's drawings depicting their time in US custody https://t.co/nNxJMvCMnQ
— Michael (@Michael65026278) July 8, 2019
I bet it would make the most facinating exhibit… 🖌️😋💗🕊️Smithsonian interested in obtaining migrant children's drawings depicting their time in US custody – CNN https://t.co/RAlUuq78lq
— Elle Est (@ElleEst10) July 8, 2019