It’s been less than a month since a Justice Department draft was leaked, quoting former Attorney General Jeff Sessions telling U.S. attorneys “We need to take away children” — referring to separating immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Further information in the draft noted that said children should be taken away from their parents regardless of their age.
“We have now heard of us taking breastfeeding defendant moms away from their infants,” an involved attorney told the New York Times in their October 6 expose. “I did not believe this until I looked at the duty log.”
And today, the Times is reporting additional information regarding migrant children being forcibly expelled into Mexico from the U.S. — regardless of whether the children are actually from Mexico. The non-Mexican migrant children (from El Salvador, Honduras, or Guatemala, for example) don’t have any family in Mexico and are being sent there alone, without any accompanying adult.
Breaking News: U.S. authorities have been expelling migrant children from other countries into Mexico, where they may have no family to retrieve them, an internal Border Patrol email said. The transfers may violate the U.S.’s own child welfare policies. https://t.co/Vj1oj8c1ei
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 30, 2020
The Times obtained an email from Eduardo Sanchez, assistant chief of U.S. Border Patrol, in which he states:
Recently, we have identified several suspected instances where Single Minors (SM) from countries other than Mexico have been expelled via ports of entry rather than referred to ICE Air Operations for expulsion flights… Please note that if not corrected, these actions will place Title 42 operations in significant jeopardy and must be ceased immediately. To reiterate, under no circumstances should a SM from a country other than Mexico be knowingly expelled to Mexico.
So, not only are the expulsions of non-Mexican children to Mexico known to be happening; they’re also known to be in direct violation of policy.
“Even apart from the general illegality of Title 42, it is separately illegal under the immigration laws to expel a non-Mexican child to Mexico,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt told the Times.
The Women’s Refugee Commission received public records data from Mexican authorities that showed more than 200 kids from across Central America were handed into Mexican custody within a mere three-month period earlier this year.
If you’re looking to help #keepfamiliestogether and fight the atrocities being committed against migrant children and parents, here are some ideas. But, of course, the most important step you can take: please vote.
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