Since taking office in 2017, President Trump has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration. He has proposed and implemented many controversial measures to reduce the number of undocumented immigrants seeking to reside in the U.S.
In May, the administration announced a “zero tolerance” policy, which mandates the detention and criminal prosecution of all undocumented adult migrants coming across the border. Any migrants traveling with children are detained separately. The policy applies not only to migrants attempting to illegally enter the country, but also to families who are seeking asylum—which is a legal reason for entry.
The practice of separating migrant adults from their children began several months ago, and there is no law that supports it. The policy applies to all children—even toddlers. As of April, over 700 children had been taken from their families in the previous six months, and the rate of separation is increasing. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported that as many as 1,000 children were separated from their parents or adult guardians in the last five weeks alone.
Today, the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the U.S. immigration policy, noting that separating any child from their parent or guardian represents a serious child rights violation and is never in a child’s best interest. The Commissioner notes that the practice breaches multiple international human rights agreements which the U.S. has joined.
The UN has called for the U.S. to immediately terminate the program. In addition, the ACLU has filed a federal class action lawsuit to stop the practice and reunite migrant children with their families.
We hope that the above efforts will successfully reverse the administration’s unethical immigration policy and allow more immigrants a fair chance to enter the U.S. without being subject to psychological trauma. We will post updates as this story unfolds.