In the News

Read the latest news at the intersection of immigration and child welfare.

The Trump administration used an early, unreported program to separate migrant families along a remote stretch of the border

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The Trump administration used an early, unreported program to separate migrant families along a remote stretch of the border

Kevin Sieff, The Washington Post (July 7, 2021)

The Trump administration began separating migrant families in the Yuma, Arizona region of the U.S.-Mexico border months earlier than previously reported through a program known as the Criminal Consequence Initiative, resulting in the separation of at least 234 families from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2017.

Undocumented Immigrants Can Get Licenses. ICE Can Get Their Data.

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Undocumented Immigrants Can Get Licenses. ICE Can Get Their Data.

Kimberly Cataudella and Alexia Fernández Campbell, Huff Post (July 13, 2021)

According to a Center for Public Integrity investigation, at least 7 states have shared personal information from drivers with ICE since January 2020, raising concern about the risks of getting drivers licenses for undocumented individuals.

DCF is not providing interpreters for immigrant families, advocates say, a failure that can have seismic consequences

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DCF is not providing interpreters for immigrant families, advocates say, a failure that can have seismic consequences

Matt Stout, Boston Globe (July 14, 2021)

Several advocacy groups are calling for an investigation into a Massachusetts’ child welfare agency due to concerns of discrimination against immigrant families by continuous failures to provide non-English-speaking parents with interpretation.

This is what happens to child migrants found alone at the border, from the moment they cross into the US until age 18

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This is what happens to child migrants found alone at the border, from the moment they cross into the US until age 18

This article details the process that unaccompanied minors go through when they arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border, through the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and beyond.

Biden Administration Gives More Discretion to Prosecutors to Pursue or Drop Immigration Cases

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Biden Administration Gives More Discretion to Prosecutors to Pursue or Drop Immigration Cases

Raymond G. Lahoud, The National Law Review (June 22, 2021)

ICE issued a memo in late May that expanded on ICE prosecutors’ discretion to dismiss cases of certain immigrants, e.g., long-time permanent residents; the pregnant, elderly, or those with serious health condition; or those who’ve been in the U.S. since a young age.

U.S. stops flying migrant families across southern border states amid pressure from advocates

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U.S. stops flying migrant families across southern border states amid pressure from advocates

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News (May 12, 2021)

In response to growing pressure from advocacy groups, the U.S. government has ended its practice of transporting migrant families who crossed the border in south Texas to El Paso and San Diego, where they would then expel them to Mexico.

Parents of 391 migrant children separated at border under Trump still have not been found, court filing says

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Parents of 391 migrant children separated at border under Trump still have not been found, court filing says

Priscilla Alvarez, CNN (May 19, 2021)

Attorneys have successfully located 54  parents of migrant children who were separated at the US-Mexico border during the Trump administration, but are still working to find and contact the parents of 391 children.

Biden administration extends deportation relief for Haitian immigrants, allows new applications

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Biden administration extends deportation relief for Haitian immigrants, allows new applications

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News (May 22, 2021)

The Biden administration has announced that it will extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for 54,000 Haitian immigrants living in the U.S. by 18 months, and it will allow tens of thousands of other eligible Haitians to apply for relief.

Biden administration scraps plans to house “tender age” migrant children at Texas Army base

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Biden administration scraps plans to house “tender age” migrant children at Texas Army base

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News (May 24, 2021)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has done away with a plan to house up to 5,000 migrant children under the age of 12 at the Fort Bliss Army base in El Paso amid concerns of subpar conditions and prolonged stays.

Biden official defends Trump-era immigration policy

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Biden official defends Trump-era immigration policy

Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill (May 26, 2021)

Despite ongoing pressure to undo the Title 42 policy, which enables immigration officials to turn away migrants due to COVID-19, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the Biden administration’s continued use of this policy.

Hampered by the Pandemic: Unaccompanied Child Arrivals Increase as Earlier Preparedness Shortfalls Limit the Response

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Hampered by the Pandemic: Unaccompanied Child Arrivals Increase as Earlier Preparedness Shortfalls Limit the Response

Mark Greenberg, MPI (March 2021)

This article discusses how shortfalls in preparedness resulted in overcrowding at U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities in the months of February and March when there was an increase in the number of unaccompanied child migrants entering the United States.

From the Border, into Foster Care

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From the Border, into Foster Care

Swathi Kella, Harvard Political Review (March 19, 2021)

This article takes a closer look at the experience of undocumented migrant children that are in custody of the government and end up in foster care, issues related to the current immigration system in the United States, and the process of reunification. Experts also share advice on how to improve the foster care system for migrant children.

An Update on Conditions Facing Immigrant Children at the Border

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An Update on Conditions Facing Immigrant Children at the Border

Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights (March 29, 2021)

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights provides an update on what is currently happening at the U.S.-Mexico border and the impact that it is having on immigrant children. The update also offers recommendations for protecting children and asylum-seekers that are entering into the United States.

With Covid-19, Nearly Half of U.S. Farm Workers Are ‘First in Exposure, Last in Protection’

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With Covid-19, Nearly Half of U.S. Farm Workers Are ‘First in Exposure, Last in Protection’

Meghan Roos, Newsweek (April 14, 2021)

Undocumented migrant workers in the United States are still struggling to receive adequate protection against COVID-19.  Examples of how they have not and are still not protected include work conditions that do not allow for social distancing, lack of access to personal protective equipment, not having access to COVID-19 testing, and now not being prioritized for vaccinations.

‘Nobody Would Tell Me Anything’: Immigrant Parents Struggle to Find Children in U.S. Custody

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‘Nobody Would Tell Me Anything’: Immigrant Parents Struggle to Find Children in U.S. Custody

Dasha Burns and Julia Ainsley, NBC News (April 16, 2021)

This article explores the difficulties that immigrant parents are experiencing trying to locate their children that are currently in custody in the United States as well as the process that some parents have had to go through to reunite with their children.

Biden administration will let migrant families separated under Trump reunite inside U.S.

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Biden administration will let migrant families separated under Trump reunite inside U.S. 

Jacob Soboroff, Julia Ainsley and Geoff Bennett, NBC News (March 1, 2021) 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has announced that families separated at the border will be allowed to decide whether to reunite in their home countries or the U.S. Should they decide to reunify in the U.S., legal pathways to remain here and providing resources for transportation, healthcare, and mental health services will be explored.

As more migrant children arrive, Biden faces political hurdles

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As more migrant children arrive, Biden faces political hurdles 

Suzanne Monyak, Roll Call (March 1, 2021) 

The number of migrant children in custody in the United States has more than doubled since this time last year, testing the Biden administration’s promise for a more humane immigration policy approach. Despite these challenges, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said that the administration plans to “re-engineer” the process for handling unaccompanied children to make it more efficient.

Fighting to reunite refugee children, 7-year-old Grapevine girl makes room in her own home

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Fighting to reunite refugee children, 7-year-old Grapevine girl makes room in her own home 

Sean Giggy, WFAA Dallas (March 3, 2021) 

7-year-old Paisley has become an unlikely activist for refugees after reading a story about them from the Bible. At just 6-years-old she collected almost 300 stuffed animals, delivered toiletries and supplies, and raised $50,000 to open a school for refugee children – and she is still on a mission to help. She has pledged to sleep outside of her house every night until all children separated from their parents at the border are reunited. “I’m never gonna stop changing the world…I’m gonna do it forever,” Paisley says.

Biden’s task force explores legal status for separated migrant families. It could get complicated.

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Biden’s task force explores legal status for separated migrant families. It could get complicated. 

Kristina Davis, The San Diego Union-Tribune (March 7, 2021) 

A new task force initiated by the Biden administration focusing upon reunifying over 1,000 families separated at the border will begin examining which pathways will allow the United States to begin to unravel the chaos created through the previous administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy. While presidential powers are being explored as temporary solutions, it appears that the solution offering the most permanent results will be through legislation.

Some Central American Children Will Soon Be Able To Apply To Get Into The US From Their Home Countries

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Some Central American Children Will Soon Be Able To Apply To Get Into The US From Their Home Countries 

Hamed Aleaziz, Buzzfeed News (March 10, 2021) 

The Biden administration is restarting the Central American Migrants program allowing for parents from this region with legal status in the United States to request a two-year renewable approval for their children to enter the country. The restart will occur through a two-phase process beginning with processing applications denied after the Trump administration halted the program in 2017. The program will begin accepting new applications in the coming weeks.

House Passes 2 Bills Aimed At Overhauling The Immigration System

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House Passes 2 Bills Aimed At Overhauling The Immigration System 

Barbara Sprunt & Claudia Grisales, NPR (March 18, 2021)

The approval of two immigration bills in the House, the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, address status issues for agricultural workers and undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Both are promising adjustments to the U.S. immigration system, signaling the beginning of renewed immigration proposals introduced by President Biden. However, with GOP pushback on such legislation, each bill’s future in the Senate is uncertain.

More Than 100,000 Kids Could Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What’s Going On?

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More Than 100,000 Kids Could Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What’s Going On? 

Isabela Dias, Mother Jones (March 19, 2021)

To bring context to the influx of children and teens arriving at our border, which increased by over 60% in February and where, on average, 500 children are arriving every day, a human rights lawyer and vice president for policy and advocacy at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Jennifer Podkul, discusses what we know about the arriving unaccompanied minors, why they are being held longer in detention, and what the Biden administration is doing to assist in placing children in the care of their sponsors.

How Foster Families Are Stepping Up to House Unaccompanied Children Arriving at the U.S.-Mexico Border

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How Foster Families Are Stepping Up to House Unaccompanied Children Arriving at the U.S.-Mexico Border 

Jasmine Aguilera, TIME Magazine (March 19, 2021)

Focusing on the story of one foster family who has taken in immigrant children who arrived unaccompanied at the U.S.-Mexico border, this article uses their experiences to address the broader issues that organizations are facing in rapidly trying to find temporary homes for children in the aftermath of policies like Title 42 which rapidly expelled children rather than reuniting them with sponsors in the United States.

U.S. races to find bed space for migrant children as number of unaccompanied minors in government custody hits 15,500

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U.S. races to find bed space for migrant children as number of unaccompanied minors in government custody hits 15,500 

Camilo Montoya-Galves, NBC News (March 21, 2021)

By the end of March, the United States will be currently housing 15,500 children. 5,000 of these children are being kept in a Border Patrol tent facility well past the 72-hour limit prescribed by U.S. law. Due to limited bed space and the increasing number of unaccompanied minors, the sole refugee agency with HSS has had to open makeshift facilities to get children away from Border Patrol facilities. Thus far, the Biden administration has refused to expel these children back to their home countries, calling the previous administration’s practice of doing so inhumane.

Expelled from U.S. at night, migrant families weigh next steps

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Expelled from U.S. at night, migrant families weigh next steps

Associated Press (March 28, 2021)

Due to pandemic constraints, immigrants are being expelled from the United States into the city of Reynosa, Mexico, in the middle of the night, leaving many families left to wonder what to do. Further pandemic restrictions mean that parents often make the painful decision to send their children across the border alone as children under 7 are currently allowed to pursue asylum. One mother from Guatemala discussed sending her son across the border alone, stating simply, “We’re in God’s hands.”

Biden wants to undo Trump’s family separation legacy. It won’t be easy.

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Biden wants to undo Trump’s family separation legacy. It won’t be easy. 

Sabrina Rodriguez, Politico (January 31, 2021) 

While many advocates and legal representatives are heralding the Biden administration’s move to create a task force dedicated to reunifying families separated under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, many are remarking that it is just the beginning of addressing the harm of Trump’s policies. In particular, the ACLU, which has provided legal counsel to many separated families, wants the current administration to provide separated families some form of legal status and arrange funding to assist those families via psychological counseling and medical care. 

Separated at the border, reunited, then separated again: For migrant families, another trauma

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Separated at the border, reunited, then separated again: For migrant families, another trauma 

Kevin Sieff, Washington Post (January 31, 2021) 

Despite a federal court order requiring the former Trump administration to reunite families separated under their zero-tolerance policy, many families face multiple separations as parents were reunited and released without legal status. While a great deal of attention has been paid to the initial family separations and reunions, little focus has been paid to the complex pathway towards citizenship beyond reunification. Without a clear understanding of their status, many families have been retraumatized through re-separation or the potential of being separated at any moment. 

Revealed: US citizen newborns sent to Mexico under Trump-era border ban

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Revealed: US citizen newborns sent to Mexico under Trump-era border ban 

Tanvi Misra, The Guardian (February 05, 2021) 

A joint investigation by the Fuller Project and the Guardian has found that at least 11 immigrant women who gave birth in the United States were sent to Mexican border towns without U.S. birth certificates for their newborn children. The Trump administration hailed these rapid expulsions of immigrants under Title 42 as “tremendously effective,” and almost 200,000 have occurred in the first 2021 fiscal year alone. While promising to review Title 42, the Biden administration has been lax in doing so thus far. 

Biden immigration policy looks beyond reversing Trump

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Biden immigration policy looks beyond reversing Trump 

Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill (February 07, 2021) 

A trio of executive orders recently signed by President Biden motioned to his administration’s desire to undo some of the regressive policy characteristic of both his predecessor President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama. These executive orders include forming a task force devoted to reunifying families separated at the border, reviewing the Trump administration’s public charge rule, and a reexamination of the asylum and naturalization process. Immigration experts and advocates have praised the Biden administration’s apparent focus on aid over enforcement in their handling of immigration issues, particularly in their emphasis on understanding the root causes of immigration, particularly from the Northern Triangle. 

The Trauma of Being Stuck at the US-Mexico Border

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The Trauma of Being Stuck at the US-Mexico Border 

Emily Green, VICE (February 10, 2021) 

A mental health crisis is emerging among some 60,000 asylum seekers who were forced to stay in Mexico under the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy as their cases are processed in the United States. These individuals are stranded in some of Mexico’s most dangerous cities. Their compounding trauma has become so apparent that the organization Doctors Without Borders has begun offering therapy sessions to people, roughly a quarter of whom are children, living in an encampment along the Rio Grande. Separated from their loved ones, existing in a perpetual state of uncertainty over their futures, and vulnerable to being kidnapped, extorted, or killed, many believe that this mental health crisis will continue even after the policy is changed. 

U.S. to resettle more child refugees fleeing violence around the world

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U.S. to resettle more child refugees fleeing violence around the world 

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News (February 11, 2021) 

President Biden recently unveiled a proposal submitted to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees seeking to raise the number of unaccompanied refugee children coming to the U.S. fleeing violence. Refugee resettlement was at an all-time low during President Trump’s time in office, and as of the current fiscal year, no refugee minors have been resettled. The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the two organizations that work with the government on this issue, are asking for allotting approximately 1% of all refugee spots to unaccompanied minors. 

Biden administration nixes last-minute Trump deal giving ICE union ‘veto power’ over policy

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Biden administration nixes last-minute Trump deal giving ICE union ‘veto power’ over policy 

Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill (February 16, 2021) 

In an eleventh-hour move, the Biden administration avoided ratifying a union contract with ICE that would have effectively impeded any immigration policy the administration put forth. Initially approved by former acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli, whose authority to sign such an agreement has been brought into question, the union contract would have, among other things, barred any challenge to the contract for eight years, thus inhibiting the Biden administration from negotiating with the union. 

Democratic Lawmakers Introduce Biden’s Immigration Overhaul in House

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Democratic Lawmakers Introduce Biden’s Immigration Overhaul in House 

Michael D. Shear, New York Times (February 18, 2021) 

Calling it a “humane response” to the former Trump administration’s immigration policies, a dozen Democrats in Congress formerly introduced The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. Included in the bill is a pathway to citizenship, securing ports of entry, provisions for faster processing for asylum seekers, as well as a $4 billion investment into Central American economies to address the influx of migration from this area. Republican Congress members criticized the bill, claiming it would encourage illegal immigration because it does not allocate enough funds to secure the border. 

First migrant facility for children opens under Biden

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First migrant facility for children opens under Biden 

Silvia Foster-Frau, Washington Post (February 22, 2021) 

A former emergency facility used by the Trump administration and capable of holding up to 700 migrant teens has been reopened under the Biden administration. The administration has justified its reopening to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and its cutting capacity at other children’s facilities. This decision has been met with heavy criticism from immigrant advocates who have questioned the move and denounced such facilities’ conditions. 

Biden’s throwing out another Trump rule that made it harder to become a citizen

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Biden’s throwing out another Trump rule that made it harder to become a citizen 

Amy Lieu, The American Independent (February 23, 2021) 

In a recent policy alert, the Biden administration and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the version of the U.S. civics tests released at the end of 2020 would be withdrawn. In its place will be a 2008 version of the test which requires applicants to correctly answer 6 out of 10 questions (down from the latest version’s requirement of 12 out of 20). The Biden administration repealed the most recent version in light of the burden the more comprehensive test would have on application processing time, which slowed the process considerably.  

‘We tortured families’: The Lingering Damage of Trump’s Separation Policy

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‘We tortured families’: The Lingering Damage of Trump’s Separation Policy

Sam Levin, The Guardian (January 4, 2021)

The policies enacted under the Trump administration that resulted in family separation have been condemned globally and will continue to be pressing issues for the Biden administration. This article offers suggestions for how the Biden administration can work to address these issues.

Biden Suspends Deportations, Stops ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy

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Biden Suspends Deportations, Stops ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy

Jaclyn Diaz, NPR (January 21, 2021)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated that they would pause deportations for specific non-citizens in the U.S. for 100 days, would not accept any new enrollment into the Migrant Protection Protocols policy, i.e., the “remain in Mexico” program, and is planning to complete a full review of immigrations policies and programs.

Biden Immigration Bill Would Provide More Protections for Child Migrants

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Biden Immigration Bill Would Provide More Protections for Child Migrants

Julia Ainsley, NBC News (January 21, 2021)

The immigration legislation proposed by President Biden would incorporate protections for children that are migrating from Central America, a plan to hire more immigration judges for asylum cases, alternatives to immigrant detention centers, and replacing the term “alien” with “noncitizen” in immigration laws.

DOJ Rescinds ‘Zero Tolerance’ Immigration Rule

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DOJ Rescinds ‘Zero Tolerance’ Immigration Rule

Michael Balsamo and Colleen Long, Associated Press (January 26, 2021)

The Justice Department has rescinded the memo that established the “zero tolerance” enforcement policy. This policy was created to prosecute adults that crossed the border illegally and caused thousands of family separations.

Biden Open to Breaking His Immigration Bill into Pieces

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Biden Open to Breaking His Immigration Bill into Pieces

Laura Barrón-López, Anita Kumar, and Sabrina Rodriguez, Politico (January 26, 2021)

President Biden’s proposed immigration bill demonstrated that he prioritizes immigration reform. Sources have insisted on the importance of progress, which could mean trying to move pieces of the reform through Congress one at a time.

First Lady Jill Biden Expected to Take Active Role in Immigrant Family Reunification

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First Lady Jill Biden Expected to Take Active Role in Immigrant Family Reunification

Jim Acosta, Kate Bennett, and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN (January 27, 2021)

The Biden administration has plans to create a task force dedicated to the reunification of children and parents that were separated at the border as a result of Trump-era immigration policies.  Familiar sources report that first lady Jill Biden plans on being a part of this task force to reunite families separated at the border.

Biden to Rescind Trump’s Pandemic-era Limits on Immigrant and Work Visas, Top Adviser Says

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Biden to Rescind Trump’s Pandemic-era Limits on Immigrant and Work Visas, Top Adviser Says

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News (January 29, 2021)

Esther Olavarria, the deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and one of President Biden’s top immigration advisers, told U.S. mayors that President Biden plans to sign an executive order that would rescind the limits set on legal immigration by former President Donald Trump. President Biden may also sign another directive to review the public charge rule.

Court Allows U.S. Border Agents to Resume Expelling Unaccompanied Children Without Asylum Interviews

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Court Allows U.S. Border Agents to Resume Expelling Unaccompanied Children Without Asylum Interviews

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News (January 29, 2021)

U.S. border officials were given permission by a three-member panel of circuit judges to utilize an emergency policy from the Trump-era to expel unaccompanied migrant children without an asylum interview or court hearing. Former President Trump appointed all three judges.

Our Immigration Policy Has Done Terrible Damage to Kids

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Our Immigration Policy Has Done Terrible Damage to Kids

Lucy Bassett & Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Scientific American (December 1, 2020)

This article highlights four recommendations for the Biden-Harris administration to prevent further trauma to immigrant children in the U.S., related to family reunification, children’s development, care and custody of children, and social safety nets for immigrant children and families.

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Judge Requires the Government to Explain Why Undisclosed Data on Missing Separated Parents Was Not Provided Sooner

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Judge Requires the Government to Explain Why Undisclosed Data on Missing Separated Parents Was Not Provided Sooner

Jasmine Aguilera, TIME (December 3, 2020)

A federal judge is ordering the government to explain why the data regarding missing separated parents was not provided earlier. The hope is that this data could help reunite separated families by sharing information about phone numbers and addresses that could locate the parents of these children.

Read More

A Trump Immigration Policy Is Leaving Families Hungry

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A Trump Immigration Policy Is Leaving Families Hungry

Zolan Kanno-Youngs, The New York Times (December 4, 2020)

Relief agencies are facing new challenges to meet demand as undocumented immigrants with citizen children are heading to food pantries instead of participating in federal assistance programs, such as receiving food stamps–another example of the ramifications of the public charge rule expansion under the Trump administration.

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Sixty-nine percent of undocumented immigrant workers have jobs ‘essential’ to fighting Covid, says study

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Sixty-nine percent of undocumented immigrant workers have jobs ‘essential’ to fighting Covid, says study

Julia Ainsley, NBC News (December 16, 2020)

The pro-immigration reform group FWD.US. recently released a study based on the 2019 American Community Survey that found that over two-thirds of undocumented immigrant workers are in frontline jobs that are deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19 in the U.S.

Read More

Mixed-Status Immigrant Families Eligible for Stimulus Checks in COVID Relief Bill

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Mixed-Status Immigrant Families Eligible for Stimulus Checks in COVID Relief Bill

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News (December 22, 2020)

The recently passed $900 billion COVID relief bill will include mixed-status immigrant families with undocumented family members, making them eligible to receive stimulus checks, which they were not able to receive with the first stimulus package last spring. Mixed-status families with one Social Security Number-holder will also become retroactively eligible for the checks that were a part of the CARES Act.

Families like this one were torn apart at the border. The U.S. still hasn’t made things right.

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Families like this one were torn apart at the border. The U.S. still hasn’t made things right. 

Catherine RampellWashington Post (November 23, 2020) 

In 2017, mother and son Leticia and Yovany traveled from Guatemala and crossed the Rio Grande to seek asylum in the United States. Soon after, they were detained and separated. Speaking to Catherine Rampell of The Washington Post, Leticia and Yovany describe the trauma of such separation, something her son likened to “being a flower without water” and call on the U.S. government and the American public to redress the harm done to them and countless other families.   

ICE Expelled 33 Immigrant Children Back to Guatemala After A Judge Said They Couldn’t

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ICE Expelled 33 Immigrant Children Back to Guatemala After A Judge Said They Couldn’t 

Hamed AleazizBuzzFeed News (November 24, 2020) 

Despite a preliminary injunction issued on November 18th that blocked the Trump administration from turning back unaccompanied children at the border, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) flight with 33 children took off for Guatemala. ICE officials claim that they were not aware of the ruling at the time the flight departed. However, immigration advocates have stated that the children should be brought back to the United States due to the judge’s decision.   

The Real Border Crisis: Childhood Trauma from Family Separations

By | In the News

The Real Border Crisis: Childhood Trauma from Family Separations 

Jessica Blatt, Borgen Magazine (November 15, 2020) 

In this piece, Jessica Blatt traces the intersecting traumas that immigrant children experience from the countries they leave behind to their detention at the border of a country they believed they could seek refuge in. The longstanding, compounding traumas these children face are, according to Blatt, tantamount to a mental health emergency. However, through collective action in support of legislative measures, including the Keep Families Together Act and electing legislators concerned about immigrant children’s welfare, the United States can work to mitigate continued harm.   

Biden might need years to reverse Trump’s immigration policies on DACA, asylum, family separation, ICE raids, private detention and more

By | In the News

Biden might need years to reverse Trump’s immigration policies on DACA, asylum, family separation, ICE raids, private detention and more 

Alan Gomez and Daniel Gonzalez, USA Today (November 13, 2020) 

During its tenure, the Trump administration enacted more than 400 policy changes aimed at immigration. While many of these regressive policies can be overturned by the incoming Biden administration through executive orders and directives, Gomez and Gonzalez indicate that others could take months or years to undo. A list of possible actions Biden could take in the first 100 days, like halting construction on the border wall, raising the refugee cap, and preserving and expanding DACA, are all seemingly within reach. However, immigration advocates contend that rescinding policy is one thing, but hoping to undo the damage is another task entirely.   

How America’s Immigration System Can Work Again

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How America’s Immigration System Can Work Again 

Gregory Chen, The Hill (November 11, 2020) 

In this opinion piece for The Hill, Gregory Chen, the senior director for government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), explains the glaring lack of attention paid to how the judicial system has been seismically changed under the Trump administration. Chen states that any comprehensive plan to reverse this course under a new administration will mean seeking to restore the nation’s courts’ independence and fairness.   

Lawyers Can’t Find the Parents of 666 Migrant Kids, a Higher Number Than Previously Reported

By | In the News

Lawyers Can’t Find the Parents of 666 Migrant Kids, a Higher Number Than Previously Reported 

Jacob Soboroff and Julia Ainsley, NBC News (November 9, 2020) 

New information regarding the number of children separated at the border under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy who have yet to be reunited with their parents has climbed from 545 to 666. According to an attorney working at the forefront to reunite families, the new number includes those “for whom the government did not provide any phone number.” Almost 20 percent of these children were under 5 when they were separated.   

Biden Plans Immediate Flurry of Executive Orders to Reverse Trump Policies

By | In the News

Biden Plans Immediate Flurry of Executive Orders to Reverse Trump Policies 

Matt Viser, Seung Min Kim, and Annie Linskey, Washington Post (November 7, 2020) 

Describing it as potentially one of the “most startling” transitions of power in American history, Viser, Kim, and Linskey discuss the executive actions that Biden has promised to undertake once he is sworn into office on January 20th. Of those executive actions involving immigration, Biden has vowed to repeal the Muslim Ban, which barred travel from several mostly Muslim countries, as well as restoring the DREAM Act.   

Migrant Families Were Confused When U.S. Expelled Children into Mexico

By | In the News

Migrant Families Were Confused When U.S. Expelled Children into Mexico 

Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times (November 3, 2020) 

Arduous journeys led young people like Esther and Nahum to the United States border seeking asylum and a chance to meet with their awaiting family members on the other side. However, their families were dismayed and confused when these children not only never crossed the border but were expelled into Mexico. Going against U.S. policy and diplomatic agreements with Mexico, Caitlin Dickerson describes how the Trump administration improperly removed minor children by shutting down the border to asylum applicants because of the pandemic. 

The U.S. Separated Families Decades Ago, Too. With 545 Migrant Children Missing Their Parents, That Moment Holds a Key Lesson

By | In the News

The U.S. Separated Families Decades Ago, Too. With 545 Migrant Children Missing Their Parents, That Moment Holds a Key Lesson 

Ivón Padilla-RodríguezTIME Magazine (November 2, 2020) 

In the 1970s, The United States attempted to deter unauthorized immigration by prosecuting coyotes, who transported individuals and families across the border. However, this policy resulted in the detention of thousands of minor children and families. Placing an uncomfortable spotlight on the history of the United States, separating immigrant families, losing children, and obscuring the truth from the American people, Ivón Padilla-Rodríguez argues that this oft-ignored part of history should serve as a warning to advocates and concerned citizens today.   

The El Paso Experiment: A Public Defender’s Lonely Fight Against Family Separation

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The El Paso Experiment: A Public Defender’s Lonely Fight Against Family Separation 

Melissa del Bosque, The Intercept (November 1, 2020) 

Sergio Garcia had been a federal public defender for the Western District of Texas in El Paso for five years when a U.S. Magistrate judge assigned him to help families separated after seeking asylum in the United States. Unbeknownst to Garcia, he was to become the first lawyer to take on the Trump administration’s initial “zero tolerance” pilot project of family separation. In the years since, Garcia, an immigrant from Mexico, has fought tirelessly to reunite families ripped apart by this draconian policy.   

Mexico Identifies Two Women Who May Have Received Non-Consensual Surgeries in ICE Detention

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Mexico Identifies Two Women Who May Have Received Non-Consensual Surgeries in ICE Detention

Natalie Gallón, CNN (October 13, 2020)

Mexico’s foreign ministry released a statement that an investigation has found that two women have alleged receiving non-consensual surgeries while they were being held by US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  This was found during a larger investigation of a privately-run ICE detention center, Irwin County Detention Center, located in Ocilla, Georgia.  ICE has stated that these are serious concerns that warrant an investigation.

Trump Administration Adds Criminal Disqualifiers to Asylum

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Trump Administration Adds Criminal Disqualifiers to Asylum

Elliot Spagat, Associated Press News (October 20, 2020)

A new rule will go into effect on November 20, 2020 that will cause asylum-seekers to lose their opportunity to seek asylum in the United States if they are convicted of driving under the influence or are found to be involved in crimes that appear to support gangs.

Lawyers Say They Can’t Find the Parents of 545 Migrant Children Separated by Trump Administration

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Lawyers Say They Can’t Find the Parents of 545 Migrant Children Separated by Trump Administration

Julia Ainsley & Jacob Soboroff, NBC News (October 20, 2020)

A filing from the American Civil Liberties Union stated that a federal judge had appointed lawyers to find families that had been split up by the Trump administration and that they were unable to locate the parents of 545 children, which is around two-thirds of parents that were separated from their children and deported to Central America.

ICE Moves to Quickly Deport More Immigrants Without Court Hearings

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ICE Moves to Quickly Deport More Immigrants Without Court Hearings

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News (October 21, 2020)

The Trump administration announced plans to increase the number of undocumented immigrants that would be eligible for quick deportation without a court hearing.  This is a policy that was typically only used in border areas, but the recent announcement provides instructions to federal immigration agents nationwide.

Study Finds No Crime Increase in Cities that Adopted ‘Sanctuary’ Policies, Despite Trump Claims

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Study Finds No Crime Increase in Cities that Adopted ‘Sanctuary’ Policies, Despite Trump Claims

Nick Miroff, The Washington Post (October 21, 2020)

A Stanford University report did not find a documented increase in crime for cities that implemented “sanctuary” policies.  This seems to contradict the Trump administration’s belief that the “sanctuary” policies would have a negative impact on public safety.  Researcher David K. Hausman made these findings in one of the first attempts to measure this impact by analyzing data on property crime and violent crime.

US ICE Officers ‘Used Torture to Make Africans Sign Own Deportation Orders’

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US ICE Officers ‘Used Torture to Make Africans Sign Own Deportation Orders’

Julian Borger, The Guardian (October 22, 2020)

There are allegations that immigration officers in the United States used torture to make Cameroonian asylum seekers sign their deportation orders ahead of the elections in the United States.  The Cameroonian asylum seekers that were deported were from a minority of English-speakers that had been targeted by the security forces of their government.

ICE Plans to Target Undocumented Immigrants Who Didn’t Voluntarily Leave the US

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ICE Plans to Target Undocumented Immigrants Who Didn’t Voluntarily Leave the US

Priscilla Alvarez, CNN (October 22, 2020)

CNN acquired a draft memo stating that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is developing a plan to locate and deport undocumented immigrants that have not voluntarily left the United States after previously stating their intentions to leave.

‘Kids in Cages’: It’s True That Obama Built the Cages at the Border. But Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ Immigration Policy had No Precedent.

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‘Kids in Cages’: It’s True That Obama Built the Cages at the Border. But Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ Immigration Policy had No Precedent.

Nick Miroff, The Washington Post (October 23, 2020)

The recent presidential debate discussed issues of immigration.  The presidential debate moderator, Kristen Welker, asked President Trump about the president’s “zero tolerance” policy and he accused former president Obama of building the cages.  Presidential candidate Biden stated that was correct but that the Obama administration did not separate parents and children.  This article provides a brief history of the development of the detention center and the role that the recent United States presidents have played in the policies that impact individuals that end up in the detention centers.

Inside the Refugee Camp on America’s Doorstep

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Inside the Refugee Camp on America’s Doorstep

Caitlin Dickerson, The New York Times (October 23, 2020)

President Trump has limited opportunities for asylum in the United States (U.S.).  Tent camps have developed on the border as individuals wait in hopes of seeking asylum in the U.S.  The coronavirus pandemic has made already difficult conditions worse for children and families living in these camps.

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Donald Trump Made a lot of Immigration and Border Promises in 2016. How Did He Deliver?

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Donald Trump Made a lot of Immigration and Border Promises in 2016. How Did He Deliver?

Daniel Gonzalez & Rafael Carranza, Arizona Republic (October 25, 2020)

Donald Trump spoke at a convention center in Phoenix, Arizona in August of 2016 and described his plans for a border wall, sanctuary policies, legal immigration, DACA, and catch and release and now four years later his progress on his plans are being evaluated.