The picture shows a mother holding her child at the US and Mexico border
  The border fence gate between US and Mexico is opened for a few hours to allow separated families to embrace as part of Universal Children’s Day on 19 November 2016. Photo credit: Mike Blake/Reuters on the Guardian's website

US considers separating women and children who cross illegally into US

Article in The Guardian
3 March, 2017

“Women and children crossing together illegally into the United States could be separated by US authorities under a proposal being considered by the Department of Homeland Security, according to three government officials.

Part of the reason for the proposal is to deter mothers from migrating to the United States with their children, said the officials, who have been briefed on the proposal.

The policy shift would allow the government to keep parents in custody while they contest deportation or wait for asylum hearings. Children would be put into protective custody with the Department of Health and Human Services, in the “least restrictive setting” until they can be taken into the care of a US relative or state-sponsored guardian.”

Many thanks to Janet, who says: “I sincerely hope that the US will not implement the policy outlined in the article. Separating children from detained parents is the harshest, most punitive treatment possible – even worse than detaining entire families. The consensus of pediatricians and mental health professionals is very clear in this regard. Threatening to take children away from their parents as a way to deter families from migrating is horrendously cruel, all the more so when many are fleeing violence.”

I would add that such a policy would be a blatant violation by American authorities of several of their key human rights commitments under international human rights treaties. In addition, it would also push many migrants deeper in the underground in the hands of even more exploitative smugglers, recruiters and employers. Moreover, it could also generate a surge in unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border alone. The unintended consequences of such a policy would be totally counterproductive, if controlling the border is the objective.

Or is it that the US Administration is trying to engineer an even greater border problem in order to justify the humongous expenditures which are planned for the wall or the boots on the ground, and distract from other policy issues? FC.

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