Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Friday, June 22, 2018 09:43:53 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Nearly 1,800 families separated at US-Mexico border in 17 months through February

photo by

Undocumented immigrants just released from detention through \"catch and release\" immigration policy stand at a bus station before being taken to the Catholic Charities relief center in McAllen, Texas. .

By
10th-Jun-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Reuters, Washington :
Nearly 1,800 immigrant families were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border from October 2016 through February of this year, according to a senior government official, as President Donald Trump implemented stricter border enforcement policies.
The numbers are the first comprehensive disclosure by the administration of how many families have been affected by the policies. Previously, the only numbers provided by federal officials on family separations covered a single two-week period in May. The government official, who agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity, said he could not provide up-to-date statistics, but acknowledged the number of separations had risen sharply in recent weeks, largely because of new administration policies. In May, U.S. 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. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official testified last month to Congress that between May 6 and May 19, 658 children were separated from 638 parents because of the stepped-up prosecutions. That brings the total of officially acknowledged separations to more than 2,400, though that does not include recent weeks or the period from March 1 to May 6. Immigration and child advocates, Democratic lawmakers and the United Nations have all condemned the practice of separating families at the border, but the administration has defended its actions saying it is protecting children and making clear that illegal border crossers will be prosecuted regardless of their family circumstances. In most of the 1,768 cases of families separated by border agents between October 2016 and February, children were removed from parents for medical reasons or because of security concerns, the official said, citing examples such as parents needing hospitalization or officials discovering the parent had a criminal record either in the United States or in their home country.
In 237 cases, the official said, children were removed because border agents suspected adults were falsely posing as the parents of minors in their charge. The period for which statistics were provided included the final three months of the Obama administration in 2016, but the official could not say whether any of the separations occurred then. The practice of separating families has not been systematically tracked until now, the official said, and the figures given to Reuters had to be compiled manually.  "Why weren't we pulling these statistics before? Because it wasn't a big enough phenomenon that had public interest," the official said. "Now it's increasing and it's of public interest." The bulk of the separations involved Central Americans, who make up the majority of families crossing the southwest border. Some were apprehended trying to cross the border illegally, while others crossed illegally and then presented themselves to border patrol agents asking for asylum because they feared returning home.
Immigrants can also go to an official port of entry to request asylum before crossing the border. The official said separations in such circumstances are rare, but that the numbers are not tracked separately. The official noted that the number of separations from October 2016 to February this year represented less than 2 percent of the 106,700 family units arrested along the southwest border during that same period. 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 7-year-old daughter taken from her and housed in government custody more than 2,000 miles away in Chicago for months. The government said in legal papers that it took the child into custody because it could not corroborate the two were related. The ACLU argued the question could have been quickly resolved by a DNA test, which was only done much later. Lee Gelernt, the ACLU attorney representing the woman and other parents in similar situations, said the Trump administration is using allegations of fraud and security concerns to justify a policy that is actually aimed not at protecting children but at deterring future border crossers. "Taking a child away from their parent and interfering with the basic constitutional right to family unity, that's about the most draconian thing you can do and it needs the most compelling reason possible," Gelernt said. "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." The official said some families were separated because human smugglers had tried to game the system by placing children with unrelated adults, hoping the adults would fare better if caught. Only a few immigration detention centers have the capacity to house parents and children together, so families caught at the border have often been freed to await court hearings while living in the United States. On Friday, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with 26 other Democrats and two independents introduced a bill that would put new limits on federal law enforcement's ability to separate immigrant children from their families unless a court decides that would be best for the child. The bill specifically states that a minor cannot be removed from a parent or legal guardian "solely for the policy goal of deterring individuals from migrating to the United States."


Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Addressing the causes of people`s displacement is the real option for tackling the refugee crisis


LIKE many other countries, World Refugee Day was observed in the country on Wednesday at a time when the world's third largest refugee group Rohingya is living in the overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar. The UNHCR reported that 68.5 million people are living in different refugee camps across the world. ...

Football »

Denmark`s Christian Eriksen is congratulated by his teammate Yussuf Yurary Poulsen after scoring the opening goal during the group C match between Denmark and Australia at the World Cup match in Samara, Russia on Thursday. Denmark, Australia match ended 1-1 draw.


Football »

Spain's Diego Costa (right) celebrates with his teammate Isco after scoring his side's opening goal during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Neetu to ring in her birthday with Rishi Kapoor in Paris


Neetu Kapoor will soon be turning 60 on July 8 and if the latest reports are to be believed, the actress already has special plans. Neetu Kapoor will soon be flying to Paris to ring in her birthday with husband Rishi Kapoor, son Ranbir Kapoor, daughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahni and ...

Entertainment »

Salman to kick-start the shooting schedule of Bharat on July 17


Priyanka Chopra and Salman Khan are ready to be seen together on the big screen after a decade in Bharat. The film also stars Disha Patani and is an adaptation of South Korean film, Ode to My Father. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, this project has been in the limelight ...

National »

SYLHET: Leaders of Bangladesh Bar Council, Sylhet District Unit greeting Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith MP during his visit in Sylhet recently.


International »

Erdogan seeks new term with greater powers


AP, Ankara :Since he took office in 2003, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has given a name to each stage in his consolidation of power in Turkey. First he called himself the apprentice; then the journeyman; and latterly the master. Now, he says a new five-year term would elevate him to ...

City »

City-bound passengers returning after celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr with their near and dear ones at their ancestral homes. The snap was taken from Mawaghat on Thursday.


Entertainment »

Race 3 inches towards Rs 200 cr mark


Salman Khan's film Race 3 is unstoppable. The film, which hit screens on June 15, is giving all sorts of reasons for the star cast to celebrate. The Remo D'Souza directorial had already crossed the benchmark of Rs 100 crore at the Indian box office. But interestingly, the Salman fever ...

Editorial »

Unfortunately government has no political leadership to restore peace in Chattogram Hill Tracts


THREE more activists of Parbatya Chattogram Janasanghati Samity (MN Larma) and United People's Democratic Front (Democratic) were shot dead at their homes in Rangamati and Khagrachhari districts between Friday and Sunday. Conflicts between different groups in Chattogram Hill Tracts have led to the death of at least 22 people in ...

Business & Economy »

Shibbir Mahmud, Chairman, Board of Directors of Islamic Finance and Investment Limited, presiding over its 236th meeting at its head office in the city recently. AZM Saleh, Managing Director, Rezakul Haider, Anis Salahuddin Ahmad, Vice-Chairmen, Anwar Hossain Chowdhury, EC Chairman, Md. Jahidur Rahman, Audit Committee Chairman, SM Bakhtiar Alam, Hossain Mahmud, Liaquat Hossain Moghul and KBM Moin Uddin Chisty, Directors of the company were also present.


International »

China-N Korea joint efforts to bring peace, stability in Korean peninsula, hopes Xi


Reuters, Beijing : Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday that with the joint efforts of the two countries, the Korean peninsula will definitely be peaceful and stable, official news agency Xinhua said.Xi made the comments during a meeting at Beijing's Diaoyutai state guest ...

Football »

Putin missed Russia-Egypt match but 'happy' at win


AFP, Moscow :The Kremlin on Wednesday said Vladimir Putin did not watch Russia's surprise win over Egypt in the World Cup because he was on a plane but added that he reacted "very positively, like the whole of our country".  "Unfortunately, he did not watch the match itself. It so ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a prèss conference at the party central office in the city's Nayapalton on Wednesday in protest against his confinement by police in Noakhali.


Editorial »

Death of another prosecution witness : Too difficult to accept as an accident


NO sooner had the Eid vacation come to an end but another murder shocked us all. The decapitated body of Sumon Zahid, a witness in a war crimes case and also the son of martyred journalist Selina Parvin was found dead in the capital's Khilgaon the day before yesterday. There ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news