Monday, 25 June, 2018

U.S. should stop detaining migrant children on border

UN calls on Trump to ‘immediately halt’ policy on separating migrant families at border UN says US must stop separating migrant children from parents
| 08 June, 2018, 15:45

Rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani scolded the USA for its "zero tolerance" policy in which some families have been separated after migration across the border. "The child's best interest should always come first, including over migration management objectives or other administrative concerns".

At this time, hundreds of children have spent more than 72 hours in custody at US border stations, beyond the time limit for holding immigrants of any age in temporary facilities.

Most crossing the United States southern border are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador where there is rampant violence and persecution targeting children and young adults, he said. "Started the Wall." As soon as Trump posted on Twitter, a backlash followed.

It was the Trump administration that made the choice to separate parents from children as a deterrent to immigrants, in an unprecedented policy that had the president's fingerprints all over it.

Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the UN high commissioner for human rights, scolded the United States over the hundreds of children removed from parents who were jailed for entering the country illegally.

The UN says the policy is "arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life" and "a serious violation of the rights of the child". Announced April 6 by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the new policy directs authorities to prosecute all instances of illegal border crossings, even against people with few or no previous offenses.


"Detention is never in the best interests of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation", she said.

Last year, as Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly raised the idea of separating children from their families when they entered the country as a way to deter movement across the Mexican border. Roughly 550 children are in custody, and of those, almost 300 have spent more than 72 hours there, NBC reported.

Parents traveling with their children are separated from them while the face legal proceedings.

The zero-tolerance policy is an attempt to reduce the thousands of Central Americans, primarily from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, who cross the US-Mexico border each week asking for asylum from violence in their own countries, according to the Guardian.

"You can't be giving immunity to people who bring children with them, recklessly, and improperly, and illegally", he said.

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