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14,000 immigrant children spent Thanksgiving in US government detention

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migrant children family separation zero tolerance policy
Central
American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take
them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas. The
families were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border
authorities are executing the Trump administration’s ‘zero
tolerance’ policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney
General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence
in immigrants’ country of origin would no longer qualify them for
political asylum status.

John
Moore/Getty Images


  • A record-setting 14,030 immigrant children live in US
    detention camps and shelters across the country as of November
    15, according to federal and state statistics.
  • While President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy
    contributed to the boom by separating children from their
    families at the border, today the number represents mostly
    children who traveled to the US on their own.
  • The children can be sponsored by adults and live with
    them instead of in shelters, which stand accused of abuses, but
    the Trump administration now requires fingerprints for anyone
    who comes forward as a sponsor.
  • This has already lead to arrests, as the government
    finds some of the would-be sponsors are illegally in the
    country themselves.

A record-setting 14,030 immigrant children live in US detention
camps and shelters across the country as of November 15,
according to federal and state statistics cited
by
 Houston
Chronicle
.

While President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy
contributed to the boom by separating children from their
families at the border, today the number represents mostly
children who traveled to the US on their own, the Chronicle
reported.

The Department of Health and Human Services, tasked with
administering more than 100 shelters around the country,
maintains that the children are treated as well as circumstances
allow. The shelters provide education and recreation for their
juvenile populations. 

But some of the children reported abuses including
drugging, sexual misconduct, beatings, and inhumane conditions at
a shelter in Virginia. 

In the eyes of the court, the children have broken the law
by entering the country illegally, and they are not free to leave
the shelters of their own will.

Children living in the shelters can be sponsored by their
parents, relatives, or friends, but the Trump administration now
requires the sponsors to submit fingerprints as part of a
background check. The new regulation also required all adults
living with a migrant child to submit their
fingerprints. 

In September, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement arrested 41 would-be sponsors,
saying they were in the country illegally themselves. Activists
say that the new regulation will have a chilling effect on people
coming forward to sponsor the children and remove them from the
shelters. 

For information on how to donate to or support the children
in the shelters, click here

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