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ICE Reverses Policy, Starts Locking Up Guardians of Undocumented Minors

by Countable | 9.11.17

What’s the story?

More than 400 people were arrested over the course of two months this summer for providing shelter in their homes to undocumented minors. Some were contacted by authorities to come pick up minor relatives who had been apprehended crossing the border, and then later were contacted by the same authorities for breaking the law by taking the young people in.

Why does it matter?

During the Obama administration it was ICE policy that individuals who took in minor relatives who were apprehended crossing the border did not need to worry about the attention of immigration officials. The priority was to have the young people safely placed with family while their cases were dealt with, so they didn’t have to be in detention facilities.

The Trump administration has reversed that policy, reports ProPublica. ICE says that they are cracking down on people who pay human smugglers. Propublica writes, "Some of those affected admit that they paid “coyotes" to reunite them with their young children. But many are collateral damage: People who just happened to be in the house when ICE showed up, or relatives who agreed to take in teens after they traveled to the U.S. on their own.”

Of the approximately 400 people arrested from late June to late August most were charged with immigration violations, not smuggling-related crimes.

What do you think?

Is the administration right to go after guardians who take in undocumented minors? Should it matter if they knew, or were actively involved, in the minor coming illegally? If the authorities ask individuals to take the young people in, then later accuse them of violating laws, isn’t that entrapment? Is it better for undocumented minors to be placed with family, rather than having them held by the government? Or should ICE use any means necessary to apprehend and detain all undocumented immigrants of any age?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

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(288)
  • Richard
    09/11/2017
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    ICE reversing its policy and arresting those caring for the children of illegal immigrants, is similar to Hitler's policy of killing innocent people trying to save Jews and those against Hitler's philosophies! Heil Trump, the white supremacists Will be celebrating! What I said, embarrassing, national and international tragedy this is. The US is quickly losing the little respect that it is trying to retain. Our senators and representatives should do everything they can to fight our POTUS on these xenophobic actions.

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  • Matt
    09/11/2017
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    In my experience as a teacher of immigrants, the unaccompanied children entering our country are typically fleeing extremely difficult, dangerous, even life-threatening situations. These often-traumatized children need safe homes and strong, consistent support systems to thrive. Imprisoning and deporting the heroic adults that shelter and care for these children is detrimental to their sense of well-being and just plain cruel. These individuals should not be an immediate priority for ICE. Furthermore, we need immigration laws, systems, and enforcement procedures that build these children and families up instead of inhumanely tearing them apart.

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  • Patty
    09/11/2017
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    It is wrong for immigration to ask relatives to take in minors crossing the border, then turn around and arrest them when they do. This is an appalling way to treat both children and the people who are trying to help them! Is there any evil Trumps immigration force won't commit?

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  • Eric
    09/11/2017
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    Splitting up families is a disgusting practice regardless of the reason. Have some humanity and quit separating children from their parents in the name of "illegal immigration". Humanity still comes first.

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  • Tayler
    09/11/2017
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    This isn't right at all. How do you ask these folks to take in undocumented minors and then return to them saying they're engaged in illegal activity? The American empire is bound to fall if we continue to roll back rights and common sense laws. In this global world, the least of our concerns should be undocumented minors who are staying with relatives!!!!

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  • Marc
    09/11/2017
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    Don't believe anything that trump says when he says he will not go after those who behave themselves

    Like (45)
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  • Mike
    09/11/2017
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    When will Melania be arrested then?

    Like (42)
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  • Mallory
    09/11/2017
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    Criminalizing people for protecting and sheltering undocumented children is horrible and inhumane. Stop criminalizing compassion.

    Like (38)
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  • Meghan
    09/11/2017
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    This is disgusting that people that actually care about the human race and are trying to PROTECT them are being locked up for this by a government of a country that was BUILT ON IMMIGRANTS!!! Welcome back Nazi germany. 😡

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  • Abby
    09/11/2017
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    How can you tell people to come pick up minors and promise there will be no penalty, and then turn around and arrest them?? This so-called administration needs to hold to what Obama promised. Just because Trump is trying to undo all the good from the Obama administration he will punish these people. He has made us into a heartless, cruel country. I am embarrassed by this administration and their mean tactics. This is a time to help those in need from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, not try to figure out how to hurt immigrants. #resist #impeach

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  • Robert
    09/11/2017
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    This is the type of policy change that makes it hard to tell who the criminal actually is

    Like (27)
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  • Terri
    09/11/2017
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    Well at least we don't have to worry about the Republican party ever again laying claim to the title, "the party of family values".

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  • Jane
    09/11/2017
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    Stop this. Stop ICE. They're like the gestapo!

    Like (21)
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  • Marta
    09/11/2017
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    ICE arresting guardians of undocumented minors is just wrong! Stop this interference in the lives of these Good Samaritans!!

    Like (19)
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  • Monarch6033
    09/11/2017
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    I am getting sick and tired of these backwards policies. Why tell people to come pick these undocumented children up and then turn around and arrest them. This just makes me shake my head.

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  • SirRobert
    09/11/2017
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    Entrapment! And just morally wrong!

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  • K
    09/11/2017
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    Tell me again how this benefits us? Will ICE start good stepping their way down the streets?

    Like (16)
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  • Eric
    09/11/2017
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    We can't allow our country to do this! We are better than this! We can't allow ourselves to become the white nationalist states of America! These racist terrible people need to stop. This is and will only destroy our economy the longer it goes on. We're becoming just as bad as Nazi Germany or Communist Russia.

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  • Tracy
    09/11/2017
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    These young people need a safe place to stay while going through an incredibly difficult situation. Why punish the generous caretaker?

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  • Janell
    09/11/2017
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    This is deplorable, and nothing but a scheme to disrupt the lives of those who don't look like you. The United States was not in the business of bullying those who are contributing to our society. Unfortunately, this presidency is turning the American Dream into a nightmare for the people coming here seeking a better life, and an embarrassment to those who are American.

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