Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy separates children from their families

Migrant child in a shelter

A Central American child who is traveling with a caravan of migrants sleeps at a shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, in April.
PHOTO CREDIT: Hans-Maximo Musielik/AP via NPR

 

Recently, a lot of attention has been focused on the thousands of children who have been separated from their parents last month after illegally entering the country. The Trump Administration enacted a new “zero tolerance” policy that calls for every adult that illegally crosses the US-Mexico border to be prosecuted and jailed. Previously, the government had made exceptions for those traveling with children so as to not separate families.

 

This new policy has separated nearly 2,000 kids from their parents in just six short weeks. Many have ended up in a facility that was formerly a Walmart Supercenter.

 

 

According to the government, there are currently more than 10,000 children in shelters, like the former Walmart, which are run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. They try to place these kids with relatives in the U.S. but are now having a tougher time doing that with new policies that require fingerprinting of relatives and information sharing with the Department of Homeland Security. This means that if relatives are undocumented they are reluctant to take in a child for fear of deportation.

 

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