United Nations says U.S. must stop separating migrant children from parents

Elias Hubbard
June 5, 2018

Also on Tuesday, NBC reported that "border agents and child welfare workers are running out of space to shelter children who have been separated from their parents", and that out of the 550 children who have now been held longer than 72 hours, 300 were under the age of 12.

The rights office said in a statement that "children should never be detained for reasons related to their own or their parents' migration status".

The United Nations called on the United States on Tuesday to stop detaining irregular migrant families and separating children on its frontier with Mexico, saying this broke the law.

The spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the policy had "led to people caught entering the country irregularly being subjected to criminal prosecution and having their children - including extremely young children - taken away from them as a result".

It was the Trump administration that made the choice to separate parents from children as a deterrent to immigrants, in an unprecedented policy that had the president's fingerprints all over it.

The Trump administration will soon begin fingerprinting parents claiming custody of children who entered the United States illegally without an adult relative, officials said a week ago, prompting criticism that children may be abandoned by those who fear being identified and deported.

Despite this, she insisted, Washington was bound by worldwide human rights laws that its current practices were flouting.

"The majority of people arriving at the U.S.'s southern border have fled Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador-in many cases either because of rampant insecurity and violence, or because of violations of a range of other rights, such as health, education, and housing", she noted. "Detention is never in the best interests of the child", Shamdasani declared, noting that the practice seems to have been in effect since October and has been applied "to both asylum-seekers and other migrants in vulnerable situations". "We call on the USA authorities to adopt non-custodial alternatives that allow children to remain with their families and fulfill the best interests of the child, their right to liberty and their right to family life".

Donald Trump tweeted on the issue on Tuesday, blaming the opposition party. "Border Security laws should be changed but the Dems can't get their act together!"

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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