Usa, “A border police center is no place for a child”

“A border police center is not a place for a child”, National Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. The Joe Biden administration has in fact decided to correct another of the many critical issues of the past administration. Federal Agency to use Emergency Management Resources (FEMA) to help manage the arrival of unaccompanied migrant minors on the border with Mexico. A wave that has multiplied in recent weeks and has saturated the reception system.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that the measure will be scheduled for a period of 90 days, at a time when there is a record number of people, including minors.

According to data published by the New York Times, the number of children and adolescents detained has tripled in the past two weeks, reaching 3,250. The increase has filled the structures of the Customs and Border Protection Agency, which are neither structured nor prepared to accommodate minors. They are in fact more structured to be temporary detention centers for adults.

The government must ensure that children and their families are able to solve every single problem but, with the pandemic and the risks of contagion, the process has become complicated and, with the increase in migrants, many were detained for longer than the statutory maximum of 72 hours.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the first Latino to head the department responsible for immigration, confirmed that the Administration is working with the Department of Health and Social Services – in charge of distributing them among families – to meet the needs of these minors, which which “has become more difficult” due to Covid restrictions.

The arrival of migrant children fleeing the misery and violence of Central America posed a challenge for both Barack Obama’s and Donald Trump’s administrations. After the latter has used a heavy hand causing the separation of thousands of minors from their parents, the Biden administration has promised a more humane approach and even with this provision it seems to want to keep its promises.

In any case, the Department of Homeland Security stressed that the immigration law still remains in place “It is never safe to come to the United States through irregular channels and this is especially true in times of pandemics,” Mayorkas said, adding: “To effectively protect the safety and health of migrants and our communities, people detained at the border continue to be refused and returned”.

According to the data, the border police made 100,000 arrests last month at the border and this month they could reach 130,000. 75% of minors are adolescents between 15 and 17 years.


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