"The Trump administration is restoring the rule of law by increasing prosecutions of illegal border crossers". This photo was taken by The Associated Press in 2014, when President Barack Obama was in office, and these children were unaccompanied when detained.
A petition set up by protest organizers demanding that the Trump administration "stop separating immigrant children from their families IMMEDIATELY" has reached at least 24,339 signatures. Trump won the presidency promising to build a wall along the southern border and end illegal immigration, and the White House believes stressing the same issues will drive voters to the polls and help the GOP hang on to their majorities in the Senate and House. If these would-be immigrants have children with them, they are separated since minors can't be placed in immigration detention centers.
To house migrant children, HHS relies on "an existing network of approximately 100 shelters in 14 states". Sessions, at the same event, said, "We don't want to separate families, but we don't want families to come to the border illegally and attempt to enter into this country improperly".
The spike in migrant minors under HHS custody comes hot on the heels of a new Department of Justice policy put in place by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month that called for prosecutors to pursue as many illegal border crossing charges as possible in a "zero tolerance" approach to undocumented immigration. This policy results in border-crossing parents having their children taken into federal custody.
Trump officials said would deter migrants from making the trip. As a result, those adults traveling with children are now being separated once detained because children can not be held in adult jails.
"Trump called the practice 'horrible, ' so if he thinks it's so terrible he ought to end it and not make children pawns as a negotiating tool", said Lee Gelernt, an immigration attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed a class-action lawsuit to force the government to stop separating families at the border. "This is as bad a practice as I've seen in my career", one American Civil Liberties Union lawyer told NBC News.
Taliban, Afghan officials meet for ceasefire talks
The South Asia strategy in Afghanistan has spawned intensified dialogue and a drop in Taliban violence, Army Gen. All the attackers were killed by security forces after a almost two-hour assault.
Rather, the ACLU is claiming that the administration is not reuniting parents and children for long after they are initially separated.
How or why the story resurfaced on social media four years after it was published is unclear.
Ahead of the protests, NBC News reports that on Thursday, attorneys and advocacy groups filed an emergency request (pdf) with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights-which is part of the Organization of American States (OAS)-demanding the reunification of a group of parents and children separated at the Southern border, and that the US government provide therapy services "for the trauma caused by the forcible separations". Trump might have been referring to.
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted: "The 13 Angry Democrats (plus people who worked 8 years for Obama) working on the rigged Russia Witch Hunt, will be MEDDLING with the midterm elections, especially now that Republicans (stay tough!) are taking the lead in Polls".
Last week, the ACLU released a report detailing hundreds of complaints of sexual abuse threats and other misconduct against children by USA border agents and contractors between 2009 and 2014, based on more than 30,000 pages of documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. He also complained that TVPRA requires the government to transfer children out of DHS custody and try to find them a suitable sponsor or family member to live with in the USA and doesn't allow the administration to merely turn unaccompanied children around at the border, allowing them to pursue their claims in court. The Department of Health and Human Services says the sponsors of the children simply did not respond when a call was made to see if they require additional services. In half of those cases, the adult sponsor was one of the child's parents, and another 40 percent were close adult relatives.
Officials also Tuesday they are planning more thorough screening of both minor children and their sponsors, including a fingerprint background check of every sponsor.