Sunday, 05 April, 2020

U.S. moves to abolish child migrant custody limits

U.S. moves to abolish child migrant custody limits U.S. moves to abolish child migrant custody limits
Ginger Lawrence | 21 August, 2019, 22:38

With the final version announced Wednesday, administration officials said it would replace the standards outlined in the agreement with specific requirements for detention centers set by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

McAleenan said the new rule will allow officials to transfer families to more appropriate facilities and would allow families to stay together.

The rules, which are certain to draw a legal challenge, would replace a 1997 legal agreement that limits the amount of time US immigration authorities can detain migrant children.

Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, a former congressman from a district along the border in Texas, noted in a Facebook post Wednesday that seven migrant children have died in the a year ago either in USA custody or soon after release. The federal consent decree has since 1997 put parameters around the detention of migrant children and teens.

"This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress and ensures that all children in U.S. government custody are treated with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability".

A $4.6 billion USA border bill passed by Congress in June contained more than $1 billion to shelter and feed migrants detained by the border patrol and nearly $3 billion to care for unaccompanied migrant children who are turned over the Department of Health and Human Services, but rejected the administration's request for additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds.

Hong Kong's leader vows to narrow rifts, but no specifics
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam pauses during a press conference in Hong Kong Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. He said he wouldn't rule out an inquiry at a later stage, once the two sides had reconciled.

Main image: US Border Patrol along the border fence in Lukeville, Arizona.

Administration officials initially spoke to ABC News on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details publicly.

The president saw a major dip in border crossings his first year in office before the numbers began to soar in late 2018 and early 2019, with as many as 144,000 people stopped at the border in the month of May alone.

Kevin McAleenan, the acting DHS secretary, cited the challenge of "an unprecedented flow of family units" crossing the southern U.S. border this year, majority from Central America.

Even before the Trump administration sought to clamp down on irregular and legal immigration, only 21 to 25 per cent of asylum claims from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala were approved between 2012 and 2017, according to tracking by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse. In cases where these children came into the US with families, the families would also be released after that time period expired. Several children have died of complications from the flu after being held in these crowded conditions.

The latest proposal suggests the government has made a decision to move ahead with its 2018 plan now that its border facilities are less overwhelmed.