New Report Condemns CBP Separating Immigrant Children from Their Parents to Avoid Overcrowding

The Border Patrol (CBP) separated some immigrant children from their parents while the families were in custody due to overcrowding at the facilities, according to a lawsuit filed Friday.

The lawsuit, part of a years-long legal case, highlights the humanitarian and logistical challenges the Biden administration faces following a surge in the number of migrant families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to CNN.

The surge has strained already overwhelmed CBP facilities, which are not designed to hold people, especially families, for long periods of time and, in limited cases, have required authorities to temporarily house children and parents in separate detention facilities.

Separating minors from their parents has been one of Trump’s most criticized immigration policies. /Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Dr. Paul Wise, a pediatrician who is also an observer in federal court, found during field visits this summer that Authorities at the border station in Donna, Texas, separated children from their parents while they were in custody. Some of the children were as young as 8 years old, according to CBS News.

Most of the migrant children interviewed by Wise and his colleague indicated that they were unaware of “any protocol that would allow them to request a visit with their parents,” Wise wrote in a 71-page report filed Friday in the federal District Court. Los Angeles court. . Wise’s visits to the Donna site occurred on August 11 and August 30.

“The children separated included girls separated from their mothers and boys separated from their fathers. None of the children interviewed have visited their parents since they were separated, including children who were separated for 4 days,” Wise wrote, adding that the children “were not aware of any protocol that would allow them to ask for a visit with parents”. .” .

Hundreds of immigrant families have been separated at the border during the Trump administration.
Hundreds of immigrant families have been separated at the border during the Trump administration. /Photo: PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images

Border Patrol officials cited overcrowding in short-stay facilities as the reason for the separation. Families, single adults and unaccompanied children are typically held in different detention groups.

In a statement quoted by CNN, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman said the agency prioritizes keeping families together “at every step of the immigration process and has protocols in place accordingly.”

“CBP values ​​Dr. Wise’s oversight; “We will continue to review the report and associated recommendations and respond accordingly,” the statement said.

Wise’s independent monitoring is part of a court-approved settlement that stems from a lawsuit against the federal government dating back to the 1980s. and it called into question the shortcomings in the treatment of children in government custody.

The separations detailed in the report differ from those that occurred under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, when families remained separated and in some cases parents were deported without their children.

Immigrant children were separated from their families during the Donald Trump administration.
Immigrant children were separated from their families during the Donald Trump administration. /Photo: PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images

Under the Biden administration, in the rare cases where children are separated from a parent in custody, they are reunited and released together, a CBP official said. He called the breakup a “last resort.”

CBP is expected to keep families together during processing, but due to space constraints, children may have to be temporarily held in another module while space becomes available, a CBP spokesperson told CNN to avoid situations where children are mingled with singles in a crowded area adults.

“To keep everyone safe, sometimes we have to make difficult decisions,” the CBP spokesperson added.

Federal authorities encountered more than 7,000 migrants daily at the U.S.-Mexico border. The numbers are close to numbers not seen since the spring when Covid-era restrictions were expiring, a Department of Homeland Security official told CNN.

Author: Opinion
Source: La Opinion


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