Jessie ----
by on May 29, 2018
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It's about time, this should be done. Soon the Trump Administration will start fingerprinting parents claiming custody of children who entered the United States illegally without an adult relative, officials said on Tuesday, prompting criticism that children may be abandoned by those who fear being identified and deported.
Right now, most parents are not required to be fingerprinted to get custody of their children.
But U.S. laws and legal precedent limit the time juveniles can be detained, so those caught crossing the border alone are often released to adult sponsors in the United States. The children are then expected to show up to immigration court to fight their deportation cases. now how are children supposed to get to those courts?
So now, according to the DHS, they will conduct a fingerprint-based background check on every sponsor.
HHS is ultimately responsible for finding housing for migrant children, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) enforces immigration policy. Under a new memorandum, DHS would help HHS fingerprint every individual claiming custody of a child.
But immigration advocates said the new policy would discourage parents from claiming their children. Then if they don't want to be fingerprinted, don't enter our country with your families illegally.
If somebody is unwilling to claim their child from custody because they’re concerned about their own immigration status, it calls into question whether they’re an adequate sponsor and whether we should be releasing the child to that person.
Just in March and April alone, more than 50,000 people were detained per month trying to cross the southwest border illegally, levels similar to those during the administration of Barack Obama. And in that 2 month period, about 8,400 unaccompanied minors were caught on the southwest border.
A controversy erupted after Wagner testified in April before a Senate committee that the agency in 2016 conducted a limited “safety and well-being” call to around 7,600 children that had been in its care but was unable to locate around 1,500 children and their sponsors.
On Tuesday, Wagner said many children are with people who are in the country illegally and that “there’s no reason to believe that anything has happened to those kids.”
Under current law, all sponsors of unaccompanied children undergo an interview and a background check, and non-parental sponsors undergo fingerprint checks of a Federal Bureau of Investigation database. In special cases, such as when there is a “documented risk” to the safety of the child, parents will undergo fingerprint checks as well.
Background checks and interviews may turn up immigration information, which is entered into an HHS web portal, but immigration status is not used to disqualify sponsors.
Also, from January 2014 to April 2015, 60% of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were released to a parent, about a third were released to other relatives, 8% to family friends and less than 1% was released to unrelated sponsors.
Officials and ICE, during the Obama Administration proposed that anyone claiming custody of unaccompanied alien children be fingerprinted. HHS officials at the time pushed back, arguing that it would delay family reunions and infringe upon the parent-child relationship.
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