The Department of Homeland Security proposed a rule that would allow immigration authorities to research the legal status and criminal background of anyone — usually a parent — who steps up to sponsor unaccompanied migrant children. This new rule would also allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement to collect data like fingerprints of the sponsors.
Many are saying that this new rule will force parents who are illegally in the country to choose between protecting themselves from deportation and stepping up to claim their children. Because of talks of this new rule, plus the “zero tolerance” policy enacted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, hundreds of children have been separated from their parents upon arriving in the United States.
Migrant attorneys and advocates are calling this a human rights violation in an official complaint filed with the Inter-American Commision on Human Rights.
“The people are demanding to know #WhereAreTheChildren? Well, the children are not with their parents,” Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy said in a statement about the protests on Thursday and Friday.
Research reveals that children get to spend less time playing outside than their parents did. On average, children play outside just over four hours a week, and their parents played outside 8.2 hours a week when they were kids. The suggestion to help this is to have parents play with their kids outside to get them more motivated. This can’t happen when the children’s parents are forced away from their kids.
In the petition sent to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, petitioners complained that dozens of minor children have been taken from their parents just last month. They also mentioned how parents and attorneys have not been told where the children are or whether the children and parents will be reunited.
Efren Olivares, racial and economic justice director for the Texas Civil Rights Project, one of the groups that filed petition, said, “Toying with the lives of people fleeing violence to send a message is not only cruel but also a violation of international human rights and conventions to which the United States is a party.”