Friday, June 08, 2018

Breaking up families

Nearly 1,800 immigrant families were split up and separated at the US-Mexico border from October 2016 until February of this year. In May, the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced a “zero tolerance” policy in which all those apprehended entering the United States illegally would be criminally charged, which generally leads to children being separated from their parents. The Trump administration has defended its actions, making clear that illegal border crossers will be prosecuted regardless of their family circumstances.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the government on behalf of a Congolese asylum seeker who turned herself in to border guards in California only to have her seven-year-old daughter taken from her and housed in government custody more than 2,000 miles away in Chicago for months.

Lee Gelernt, a ACLU attorney, explains, “Deterrence is a policy measure that uses these children as pawns and violates the basic fundamental notion of what’s in the child’s best interest.”

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