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Almost 2000 migrant children separated from their families at US-Mexico border

19 June 2018, 02:59 | Ivan Casey

Almost 2000 migrant children separated from their families at US-Mexico border

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Amid the worldwide outcry, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday that the growing crisis at the U.S. -Mexico border "is not new".

At one point, a reporter from NY magazine, Olivia Nuzzi, played the tape ProPublica obtained from inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, according to tweets she posted.

Mexican nationals can be pushed back into their country, but an increasing number are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in Central America. In Texas, several Democratic members of Congress said at a news conference that they had toured one US detention center and encountered children under the age of one who they were told had been in government custody for more than a month.

Clinton also took aim at the Republican officials who have referenced the Bible as a defense of the policy. More adults were being put behind bars as a result, which had led to their children being separated from them. But that failed to affect arrivals. "The vast majority, vast, vast majority of children who are in the care of H.H.S. right now - 10,000 of the 12,000 - were sent here alone by their parents".

Image source Facebook video screenshot
Image source Facebook video screenshot

If those options are not available for certain children, the government is required to place them in the "least restrictive" setting for their ages.

Most are encouraged to plead guilty, at which point they are given a sentence of "time served". "They are criminals when they come across ok illegally and that's why they are getting separated".

Is it policy or law?

Over the weekend, protesters rallied against the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration crackdown, accusing White House and United States immigration officials of cruelty. Some migrants do not have legitimate claims and declare asylum only if they are caught crossing illegally. The Executive Office for Immigration Review found that 5,959 migrants who had been released did not show up for hearings in the first quarter of 2018, and removal orders were issued in absentia.

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So some families were released in the US before their immigration cases were heard.

"Border security and immigration enforcement are complex topics".

Sessions described the policy as created to be a deterrant to illegal immigration, announcing "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border".

What happens to the children?

. None of those laws or precedents mean that children must be taken away from their parents.

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The children, who range in age from one to 18 years old, are placed in holding centres, some of which are tent-covered operations where they sleep on mats on concrete floors in units delineated by chain-link fences resembling cages.

Nearly 2,000 children have reportedly been separated from their families at the border over six weeks under the policy. United States protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.

But he said the administration must prosecute adults who "flout our laws" to come here illegally instead of waiting their turn or claiming asylum at any port of entry.

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