Trump White House Presses Congress to Allow Fast Deportations, Jailing for Children

Brenda Watkins
June 1, 2018

These records, obtained through an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request and subsequent litigation, offer a glimpse into an immigration enforcement system that had been plagued by brutality and lawlessness long before Trump was elected. Then, Trump blames the Democrats for the policy.

Other liberal activists also linked to the Arizona Republic story using the hashtag "WhereAreOurChildren", which grew out of testimony in April by a federal official that the US government had lost track of almost 1,500 unaccompanied minor children it placed with adult sponsors in the U.S.

A DHS official told a Senate panel in April that between October 2017 and January 1, ORR tried to contact 7,635 children it had helped place with sponsors.

The Trump administration has also made asylum claims more hard to prove, chipped away at the definition of "unaccompanied-minor" status so kids' legal rights can be diminished, and limited who qualifies for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, which is used to protect abused children. Vox spoke with an immigration expert to discuss this process, Jennifer Podkul. "This [meaning the ~1500 children] was their answer to the question of, how many of those children were they not able to get in touch with, with that one phone call". Westwood explained that the photo "comes, like you mentioned, amid scrutiny of the administration's policies letting the government separate children from their parents at the border".

It is true that Democrats have been united in opposing most of the administration's immigration efforts, but they are not alone in rejecting some of the proposals. Which brings us to the next point ...

Last month Attorney General Jeff Session announced a zero tolerance policy for people crossing the border illegally.

House Republican leadership has been working with other lawmakers to try to force a vote on issues from border funding to citizenship in a way that could head off the revolt.

Before the Trump administration, immigrants entering illegally as families were rarely prosecuted, said Sarah Pierce, an associate policy analyst of the U.S. Immigration Program at the Migration Policy Institute.

"The child-smuggling trade would be shut down if we could close those loopholes", Stephen Miller, a White House senior policy adviser, told reporters on a press call created to refute criticisms that the administration is tearing families apart unnecessarily.

The official on the Division of Well being and Human Providers who oversees packages that place unaccompanied minors with households informed a Senate committee final month {that a} division workplace "was unable to find out with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 unaccompanied alien kids". As a result of that, ORR tightened their restrictions for confirming the identity family members approved to accept unaccompanied minors.

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It is hard to know how many parents and children have been separated for long periods of time; it is likely the government will come under extreme pressure to provide a more specific accounting.

HHS says that simply because these kids are unaccounted for doesn't imply they're lacking.

But there is no law that requires separation.

HHS does not have a formal responsibility to track children once they are released to sponsors. These documents date from 2009-2014.

Jonathan Rath Hoffman, chief spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, described the Trump administration's determination to prosecute parents as a continuation of Obama-era measures. She has been out of detention for five weeks and still hasn't been allowed to see her boy. They circulated widely on Twitter this weekend, shared by Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau and activists Linda Sarsour and Shaun King, among others, Politico.

"It's a shame the way the Trump administration is handling these cases now". Photos of detention buses filled with child auto seats aren't inspiring much confidence.

The President also tweeted about this.

"Democrats mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from Obama's term showing children from the Border in steel cages", the president wrote. "Dems must agree to Wall and new Border Protection for good of country ..."

Trump administration lost track of almost 1,500 immigrant children only to later claim they were not "legally responsible" to know their whereabouts. They were taken by the Associated Press and published by The Arizona Republic, again, per Politico. Yes, undocumented immigrant children have the constitutional right - under the equal protection clause - to be educated. It is hard to track exactly when it started because the federal government is not being honest about it.

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