U.S. agents arrest 1,000 immigrant children in six days as crossroads along the Mexican border rise

According to government statistics submitted to federal court, U.S. officials along the Mexican border have been unaccompanied by nearly 1,000 in the last six days as minors continue to cross unauthorized crossings. Arrested an immigrant child.

From November 18 to 23, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) handled 997 immigrant minors who traveled without parents or legal guardians, and Mark Morgan, chief executive of the authorities, said Wednesday in court. Said in the declaration. Morgan added that more than 9,900 unaccompanied children have been detained since September 8.

According to a court declaration, the CBP predicts that unaccompanied minors will increase border crossings by 50% within the next 120 days.

Morgan disclosed numbers as part of the Trump administration’s request for a suspension in the DC Circuit Court Lower court order It is currently border authorities Expulsion Unaccompanied immigrant children without court hearing or asylum. The retiring Trump administration argued that a policy dubbed the “Title 42” process was needed to prevent potentially infected migrants from spreading the coronavirus in detention centers and elsewhere in the United States. ..

Last Wednesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, quoted the Trump administration to expel cross-border people, even during a pandemic. It ruled that it would not permit or replace legal protection measures for immigrant minors. Sullivan ordered authorities to stop the expulsion of unaccompanied minors, but did not do the same for families with children and single adults who continue to be exiled to Mexico and their home countries.

US Border Guard Patrols Rio Grande Valley, Texas
US Border Guard agents will detain a 16-year-old undocumented immigrant minor from Mexico on a Texas mission on September 10, 2019.

/ Getty Images

In his declaration, Morgan said the increase in arrests of unaccompanied minors was related to a court ruling last week, arguing that it “serves as a pull factor.”

Lee Gerelund, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, who has challenged the expulsion of the border, pushed back Morgan’s remarks and predictions.

“The claim that children’s border crossings will surge this winter is at best speculation, and in any case, children will be safely inspected and quarantined as needed,” Gerelnt told CBS News. It was. “There is no basis for the Trump administration’s claim that a cruel and clearly illegal title 42 policy is needed to protect public health.”

Anxiety among unaccompanied immigrant children along the US-Mexico border, which plunged to 741 in April, was steadily increasing before Sullivan issued orders. In September and October, CBP agents arrested 3,883 and 4,764 unaccompanied minors, respectively.

The US Refugee Resettlement Administration, where most unaccompanied immigrant children were sent before the pandemic, currently has more than 2,300 minors in its shelter network. 10 years-low At the beginning of summer, when the detained population fell below 800.

Immigrant minors transferred to refugee agencies will stay in shelters or other housing facilities until they are placed with a sponsor, who is usually a family member living in the country. US law allows them to require asylum or other forms of humanitarian shelter to suspend deportation proceedings.

After accepting 162 children between April and June, the Refugee Resettlement Administration accepted 1,218 and 1,530 minors from border authorities in September and October, respectively.

The refugee office has space to accommodate about 13,000 minors, but due to the Covid-19 mitigation policy, less than 8,000 beds are available, said Nicole Cavage, the agency’s deputy director. He said in a declaration accompanying the administration’s appeal against Sullivan’s decision. According to Cavage, her office reached its maximum capacity on December 12 at a shelter along the southern border, and the entire national bed space for migrant children was used by early January. I expect it to be fulfilled.

If this trend continues, refugee agencies need to reopen “inflow facilities” in Homestead, Florida and Carriso Springs, Texas to accommodate hundreds of migrant youth. Mr. Cavage said Sullivan’s orders, Central America’s “deterioration of economic and political conditions”, recent hurricane impacts, seasonal patterns, and even predictions due to the president, her office in the “near future” Trump’s election defeat, saying he could start accepting 300-400 children every day.

“We are concerned that the recent upward trend in the above referrals could represent the peak of a large influx of UAC,” Cubbage said, using the government abbreviation “Unaccompanied.” “Foreign children” is written.

Immigrant children are also being detained for an increasing period of time. In September and October, 71 minors spent more than three days in border guard custody, according to government statistics provided to lawyers representing children of detained migrants.

Data show that the three-month-old arrested with at least one parent was detained by CBP for two weeks. In October, a 17-year-old unaccompanied teen was detained in CBP for 18 days. In a court declaration filed earlier this week, several children interviewed by lawyers claimed access to soap and face masks was restricted, citing loose social distance measures at CBP facilities and crowded situations. I blamed you.

According to one declaration, “my mask is dirty on the inside. Here, people are not practicing social distance,” said an eight-year-old child.

Another 15-year-old minor from El Salvador said, “I was detained in a room with 30 other minors and was cramped. I felt uncomfortable because there were so many people in the room. There were a lot of people in the room, so I was sitting down. “

CBP did not address these allegations, citing the proceedings in dispute.

The Anti-Trafficking Act of 2008 requires CBP and other agencies to transfer unaccompanied minors to refugee offices within 72 hours of arrest, unless there are special circumstances. .. “It’s just negligent not to be able to legally transfer these children in time,” a Democrat, led by Hispanic Corcus Chairman Fidel Castro, said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Chadwolf this week. It was.

Nehadesai, one of the lawyers representing young immigrants in a lawsuit over the Flores Settlement Agreement, which provides for the care of minors in U.S. immigration camps, said the government would quickly transfer children out of CBP control. He said further steps need to be taken to do so. “Long-term detention of children during CBP detention exposes them to a dangerous and traumatic environment,” Desai told CBS News. “This has been true long before the pandemic, and even more so now.”

Border wall
Border Guard agent Justin Castrejon is watching along a section of the newly exchanged border wall near Tecate, California, on Thursday, September 24, 2020.

Gregory Bull / AP

On Wednesday, CBP announced that it would close the largest temporary detention facility for migrant families and children until the renovation was completed in early 2022. The Central Processing Center in Southern Texas, which opened during President Obama’s time, became famous for its chainlinks section. It was accused of being a “cage” by supporters when the Trump administration systematically separated thousands of immigrant families in 2018. This announcement was first reported by The Washington Post.

The increase in border crossings by children, and overall concerns, could prove to be an early and troublesome immigration test for the upcoming Biden administration.President-elect Joe Biden I swore Canceling many of Mr. Trump’s border programs, including policies requiring tens of thousands of asylum seekers from Central America, Cuba and other Latin American countries to wait in Mexico for their US court hearings.

Biden’s team also promised to review the expulsion policy to ensure that cross-border people “have the ability to file asylum claims.”

Andrew Serry, chairman of the nonpartisan Immigration Policy Institute, has ended the “stay in Mexico” program and said border crossings could surge if they were expelled too early. He suggested that the next Biden administration could end its stay in Mexico, but could temporarily retain its expulsion policy. report This indicates that public health authorities have been pressured to approve the expulsion from the White House.

Selee said the influx of arrests at the border could undermine the possibility of a split parliament passing immigration law, including those that provide a path to US citizenship. Republican lawmakers have blamed the DACA program for a surge in border insecurity among children in Central America in 2014, even if the policies established in 2012 did not benefit new arrivals.

Before Mr. Trump’s policy is completely over, the next Biden administration will deploy more asylum-seekers, explode resources at the border, and allow immigrants to complete U.S. immigration procedures outside the containment center. Serie said the case management program should be expanded. Otherwise, a surge in unauthorized migrants could lead to a stricter enforcement policy, adding that the U.S. government is unprepared and the situation at temporary migrant detention centers deteriorates. It was.

“You’re stuck between a rock and a difficult place. You either start liberating the general public or detain them in the midst of a pandemic,” Selee said.

“If you try to be anti-Trump on the first day, you end up acting like Trump,” he added. “If you try to throw away everything Trump did first without an alternative, you’re doing the same thing Trump did.”

U.S. agents arrest 1,000 immigrant children in six days as crossroads along the Mexican border rise

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