politics

Months After Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy Was Reversed, Families Are Still Being Separated

Despite the fact that President Donald Trump was ordered by a judge to stop the separation of families at the border back in June, a new report reveals that the breakup of families continues to happen. A story published on ProPublica yesterday asserts that families are still being separated at the border under alleged claims against the parents.

At least 16 new cases show that immigration officials have separated kids from their families based on the pretense that a parent is a criminal.

According to publication, 16 incidents of separations since the Trump Administration was ordered to end his policy and immigration officials are not denying it. This number is only based on what the publication found, whether additional cases exists still remains to be seen. Previously under Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy, all undocumented people that were entering the country with children were separated. After  Trump reversed the policy back in June via a signed executive order, officials apparently continued to separate the kids in cases where it was assumed that one or both of the parents were criminals in their country of origin. Under this clause, in which the parent is a danger to the child, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claim they are within their rights to separate the families, whether they have proof or not.

In response to the new report, senior CBP official said that the current White House administration “continues to comply with the law and separates adults and children when required for the safety and security of the child.”

Neha Desai, a senior attorney at the National Center for Youth Law, added that if “the authorities have even the most specious evidence that a parent was a gang member, or had some kind of blemish on their record, anything they can come up with to say that the separation is for the health and welfare of the child, then they’ll separate them.”

Even though CBP has claimed they have the authority to separate a child from a parent if they’re a danger to the child, Susan Watson, a civil rights and family lawyer, tells the publication that CBP still need to have the authority of a judge to do that. “Constitutionally, before a parent is separated from a child, you are entitled to due process,” Watson said. “Some decision in a dark corner by the Border Patrol doesn’t meet that standard.”

In one case, a 4-year-old child was separated by his father after immigration officials alleged he had been part of MS-13. According to ProPublica, this claim was made without proof. The boy’s lawyer had no idea that his client had been separated or that the father was looking for him.

There is proof, however, that child detention centers continue to expand and are overflowing with undocumented minors.

As the centers begin to expand with more children, the government is in desperate need to hire staff at these detention facilities. The rapid rate of the facilities shows that employees do not have proper clearance to be working with children. According to the Associated Press, 2,100 staffers currently stationed at a Texas-based tent city that holds over 2,300 teens have not been subjected to rigorous FBI fingerprint background checks.

READ: This Nonprofit Organization Is Releasing Letters Written By The Women Detained In Immigration Facilities

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

A 9-year-old U.S. citizen was separated from her mother for 36 hours after agents at the border accused her of lying about her citizenship.

Like thousands of students in our country, Julia Isabel Amparo Medina’s daily commute requires her to cross the U.S. border.

The fourth-grade student attends Nicoloff Elementary School in San Ysidro, California and was in a carpool to school from her home in Tijuana when she ran into traffic. Medina, was commuting to school in a car driven by her mother’s friend Michelle Cardena, Cardena’s two children and her own older 14-year-old brother, Oscar. When the long line to get into the U.S. seemed to be jampacked upon their 4 a.m arrival, Cardenas instructed the kids in her car to walk to the border. She assured them that when they reached it, she would call them an Uber to get them the rest of the way to their school.

But Medina and her never made it across the border or to school that day.

According to the New York Times who talked to a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, two Amparo and her brother arrived at one of the San Ysidro port of entry facilities for pedestrians at 10:15 a.m. last Monday.

Upon their arrival, Amparo and her brother presented their U.S. passports to a CBP officer who soon accused her of being someone else. Note: Amparo’s passport image which was taken years before so she did not look exactly like herself. They also accused her brother of smuggling.

A CBP spokesperson has said that Amparo “provided inconsistent information during her inspection, and CBP officers took the 9-year-old into custody to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship.”

After CBP officers the confirmed that her brother was a U.S. citizen, he was permitted to enter the U.S while his sister stayed behind. It wasn’t until 6:30 pm on Tuesday, that Amparo was confirmed to be a U.S. citizen as well and was released and admitted to the U.S. to her mother.

Speaking to NBC7, Amparo said she was “scared” of her detention and that she was “sad because I didn’t have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself.”

According to Amparo’s mother Thelma Galaxia, her daughter claims that she was told by an officer that she and her brother would be released if she admitted to being her cousin. Galaxia claims that officers also convinced her son Oscar to sign a document that Amparo was his cousin and not his sister.

When Galaxia was alerted that her children had been detained she contacted the Mexican consulate.

After being notified by the consulate that her daughter would be released at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. While the family felt relieved to be grateful to be reunited with their daughter, Galaxia says the separation should never have happened.

Over the weekend, Twitter was swift to express their outrage over the incident.

Some even expressed their dismay of having a similar situation happen to them.

Many are using the incident as an example of the racial issues plaguing so many U.S. citizens like Amparo.

So many of the comments included outside opinions from those who have yet to experience the direct targetting of ICE.

Over all, nearly everyone was quick to point out the saddest aspect of Amparo’s experience.

Read: Preschool Students Are Doing Active Shooter Drills And I Guess This Is The New Normal Now

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America Ferrera Brings Actors Across The Border To Visit Migrant Shelters

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America Ferrera Brings Actors Across The Border To Visit Migrant Shelters

America Ferrera has never been a celebrity to stay quiet in the face of injustice, so it’s no surprise that the actress-activist has boldly responded to the Trump administration’s policy requiring migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico.

Last week, the Superstore star led a group of actors, including Gina Rodriguez, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, Wilmer Valderrama, Roselyn Sanchez and Kendrick Sampson, across the southern border to a shelter in Tijuana, Mexico.

There, the group learned how the policy was impacting migrants while speaking directly with immigration lawyers and shelter managers as well as families and children. They hope through this real-life education that they will become better equipped to challenge the Trump administration in the US.

“It is easy for me to look at these human beings and see myself. … This could very easily have been my reality in this lifetime,” the Honduran-American actress told the Associated Press about the trip.

The “Remain in Mexico” policy limits the amount of asylum requests border patrol can attend to per day. The process, which has also forced refugees, including thousands of Central American families who have filed for sanctuary from violence and poverty in their home countries, to stay in Mexico, has slowed down the process and created case backlogs in the immigration system and overcrowding in shelters in Mexican border towns.

“We were able to bear witness to how the current administration is treating refugee families. We MUST demand better,” Washington said in an Instagram post. “Let me be clear: it is legal to seek asylum. When people cross our borders, their human rights come with them. We must protect those human rights.”

@kerrywashington / Instagram

According to NBC News, the visit was organized by nonprofits Families Belong Together and Harness, an organization started by Ferrera, Valderrama and Ryans Piers.

Jessica Morales Rocketto, who heads Families Belong Together, told the news outlet that one of the women she met at the shelter had been waiting with her toddler since November to apply for asylum.

“People get to the border and think that’s the end of the journey, but it’s only the beginning,” Morales Rocketto said.

Read: 20 Major Immigration Facts the American Public Refuses to Hear

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