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01 July 2018, 12:30 | Bernice Figueroa
Authorities Abandon 'Zero-Tolerance' for Immigrant Families
US defense officials said the administration had chosen two military bases in Texas to house detained migrants.
"Anyone that goes to a point of entry seeking asylum will not be prosecuted".
"This clear call for an end to the constitutionally-guaranteed right to due process is symptomatic of an administration that disdains both the Constitution and our judicial system, and would subject those who cross our borders to the whims of unaccountable officials acting on the twisted logic of white supremacy and racism", Nihad Awad, CAIR national executive director, said in a statement.
"What he (the President) is doing with families on the border, separating children, violates the Constitution", New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN's Wolf Blitzer earlier on Tuesday. We need border security and we need modern equipment. The measure requires the government to bring criminal charges against adults who are caught while trying to cross the border illegally.
The mother was one of 32 parents released from federal custody while they pursue asylum cases. Many migrants lack the proper documentation and it'll be a huge undertaking filled with background checks and verification processes to reunite a lot of these kids with their parents.
That's the reality for so numerous families whose plights we see and heart-rending cries we hear. Among other things, it says that the administration can still separate parents and children whenever it believes it's in the interest of a child. Officials responded to a different part of Desjardins' questions, without saying whether HHS is still receiving children.
On Tuesday, 18 attorneys general joined together to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration's separation of undocumented migrant children from their parents at the border, with New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood's office calling the practice "irrationally discriminatory" because it "targets only people crossing our southwestern border, the majority of whom are from Latin America, and not anyone crossing the northern border or entering the United States elsewhere".
Administration officials have proposed holding the children and their parents together inside immigration detention centers. After a few days of detention, S.S. was taken from her mother, "screaming and crying, pleading with guards not to take her away from her mother", the ACLU wrote in its complaint.
The administration plans to seek legal action to block the agreement, known as the Flores settlement.
The government has also asked the courts to allow authorities to detain families together for an extended period while their cases are resolved. They're going to have to get the reunification from children under five within 10 days [the injunction ordered 14] and they're going to have to get reunification of everyone else within 30 days. But they have yet to speak publicly about plans aimed at meeting the judge's deadlines.
Since calling for an end to the separations, administration officials have been casting about for detention space for migrants, with the Pentagon drawing up plans to hold as many as 20,000 at USA military bases. Officials have said the temporary shelters will be created to house up to 20,000 people. Reporters were allowed Monday to briefly visit the shelter, where more than 320 children ages 13 to 17 are being held in air conditioned tents. It says the government can keep them "in a temporary shelter or hosted by an appropriate family".
Roughly 2,300 children were separated from their families in recent weeks by US Border Control.
On Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told senators at a hearing that his agency now has 2,047 migrant children - or six fewer than the total HHS count last week.
The Trump administration has faced increasing criticism over what advisers have claimed is a conscious decision to take minors away from undocumented immigrant parents and guardians. He said his department first has to closely investigate parents to make sure they are who they say they are, and are not involved in illegal activities.
The government now faces hard deadlines to reunite children and parents separated at the border. "People must simply be stopped at the Border and told they can not come into the USA illegally".
Weissert reported from Harlingen, Texas.
The policy, initially defended aggressively by Trump and his allies before wide criticism made him reverse course, has split more than 2,000 children from their immigrant parents in a span of less than two months.