family separation | WOSU Radio

family separation

Local faith leaders joined Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in speaking out against the Trump Administration’s family separation policy at a news conference in Cleveland Wednesday.

"We’re hopeful that the president acknowledges his role in this and stops this policy," Brown said. "The first thing is to keep families together, certainly to secure our borders, but it means you focus on criminals and terrorists, not on splitting up families."

The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational activities including soccer, and legal aid for unaccompanied migrant children who are staying in federally contracted migrant shelters.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is charged with caring for minors who arrive at the Southern border without a parent or legal guardian, says the large influx of migrants in recent months is straining its already threadbare budget. ORR is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In the wake of the death of a second migrant child in U.S. custody within the past two weeks, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced on Wednesday the government is calling on several federal agencies to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection implement a host of new directives intended to improve how it cares for children and adults held in federal facilities.

"In response to the unprecedented surge of children into our custody, I have directed a series of extraordinary protective measures," Nielsen said in a statement.

When we set out to try to look back on the year that was in politics, we started with a list that grew ... and grew ... and grew. After a couple of days, the list was just shy of 100 news events. That's about one notable story every three days.

Updated at 4:59 pm ET

The Department of Health and Human Services is changing the ways it conducts background checks on sponsors of migrant children, a surprise move that will mean the release of hundreds of such children from controversial government-contracted shelters across the country.

Two new reports from the Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog say the agency was unprepared to implement the Trump administration's family separation policy and detail health and safety risks at a California ICE processing facility.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is proposing to lift court-imposed limits on how long it can hold children in immigration detention.

The last time Pablo saw his son was in Texas.

Pablo and his 7-year-old son crossed the Rio Grande illegally and turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents. They were separated by force, and Pablo was deported back to Guatemala — without his son. Immigration officials tried to assure him that his son would follow in a week.

That was three months ago.

"You can't live without a child," Pablo said through an interpreter.

Editor's Note: This story contains graphic language.

A former worker at a shelter for immigrant youths in Arizona has been accused of molesting eight teenage boys over a nearly yearlong period at the facility, according to federal records cited by nonprofit news site ProPublica.

New court filings released late Thursday indicate that the Department of Justice and immigration advocates are still far apart in working out a process for reuniting migrant families who were separated under the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy.

The U.S. government is racing to meet Thursday's court-ordered deadline to reunite migrant families who were separated at the border to discourage other illegal crossings. But the government has acknowledged many parents won't be able to rejoin their children. And for those parents who do get to be with their children again, the future is uncertain.

Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Constituents of Rep. Steve Stivers protested at the congressman's Hilliard office on Wednesday, in an effort to draw attention to the continued separation of immigrant families at the U.S. southern border.

The Trump administration has told a federal judge that it has reunited more than 1,000 parents with their children after the families were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, but it has lost track of hundreds more parents.

The data, submitted in a court hearing on Tuesday, suggests that, by the government's accounting, it will largely meet a second deadline imposed by the judge to bring eligible immigrant families back together.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Migrants detained in recent months at the U.S.-Mexico border describe being held in Customs and Border Protection facilities that are unsanitary and overcrowded, receiving largely inedible food and being forced to drink foul-smelling drinking water.

Documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in California and viewed by NPR late Tuesday contain interviews with some 200 individuals detained under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, many of whom related poor conditions at the centers.

A federal judge in California has temporarily halted the deportation of immigrant families that have been reunited after being separated by the Trump administration.

The order was issued Monday by Judge Dana Sabraw, the same judge who previously ordered the government to reunite the families.

It comes as the Trump administration is scrambling to reunite roughly 2,550 immigrant children with their parents by the court-imposed deadline of July 26. What will happen to those families after reunification isn't clear.

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