Families Crossing the Border Illegally are Being Separated, Latest Reports Claim
Stiff Punishments For Illegal Migrants
Sometime last month, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions proclaimed that plans were on ground to commence the prosecution of people who were crossing the Southwest border, as this happened to be an illegal act. Those who would be prosecuted would also include families alongside with their children.
The punishment set aside for those who gain entry illegally, would be taken apart from their children and incarcerated. This particular punishment is for first-time offenders. Parents who have been caught and found guilty of this act, have been given the privilege of remaining with their children in makeshift family cabins. During this period, they would have to wait the final verdict which would most likely be deportation.
Between October 2017 and Mid-April, a whopping number of 700 children were allegedly separated from their parents when at the border. This occurred even before the new prosecution scheme took effect.
As at now, the number of children separated from their parents has not been made known by the government. However, workers at the immigration have stated that the number of affected children has greatly increased.
Woman Allays Separation Fears
One of the affected parents, Karen Hernandez, gave her side of the story when she was held up. She stated that for five days she was kept in a temporary confinement. She had this fear that her children would be taken away from her. She further stated that she was aware of the new laws.
Hernandez reportedly came into South Texas from Mexico through the Rio Grande route. She came along with her two young children, Jaero her son and her daughter Susan, who are aged thirteen and eight respectively.
Before the implementation of this new policy, Hernandez had already been caught, so she was somewhat fortunate. She was freed 10th May alongside with her kids and an electronic anklet fixed to her ankle. She was then taken to the Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley Respite Center, together with several other migrants.
Public Defender Puts Up Opposition
Meanwhile, public defender, Miguel Nogueras who is against this new move by the government, has been making efforts to ensure that the voices of the migrants are heard. He posed a question to several migrants in the courthouse last week, if their children had been taken away from them.
The answer was conventionally affirmed. Nogueras then asked a Central American woman who was among the migrants, the age of her child, the woman replied ‘five years’ in response to his question.
Speaking to a news outfit, Nogueras criticized the new law implementation, stating that much harm was being done to the relationship a child has with the mother. Talking about the number of these occurrences, he mentioned that previously, the number of cases being handled were very few, but this number skyrocketed to around thirty-three, last week. Nogueras also stressed on the fact that there would be a whole lot of pain experienced by these parents, if their children were taken from them.
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has sought legal action against these separations, and are currently waiting for the court’s ruling. The deputy director of ACTU, Lee Gelernt, declared that this practice was one of the worst happenings which he had seen throughout his career.
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