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Should Unauthorized Immigrant Families Separated at the Border Get a Second Chance for Asylum?

by Countable | 9.14.18

What’s the story?

  • Nearly 1,000 families that were separated at the Southwest border under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy may get a second chance at asylum in the U.S.

Why is the asylum being reconsidered?

  • The move is a part of an agreement reached on Wednesday between the administration and lawyers representing the separated parents.
  • Lee Gelernt - deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants Rights Project – said many Central American families applying for asylum did not get fair hearings as they were under psychological duress while making their case.  

 “They were just simply too traumatized when they had their asylum hearings that all they were - they were doing is worrying about their children. Are my children sleeping, eating, being taken care of?” Gelernt said.
  • Gelernt, who is representing many of the separated parents, said "the settlement will now finally give parents a meaningful opportunity to seek asylum with their children. As critically, it leaves open the possibility that some parents deported without their children can return to the United States.”
  • The Justice Department declined to comment on the agreement, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions has continued to defend the administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy that led to the separations.
“Of course our goal is not just to prosecute more cases but to deter and end the illegality, to reduce the number of people who attempt to enter unlawfully, to send a clear message it's not acceptable,” Sessions said on Monday.
  • Between April and June, more than 2,500 migrant children were forcibly separated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and placed in separate detention facilities than their parents.

What do you think?

Should the U.S. reconsider asylum for separated immigrant families? Hit Take Action and tell you reps.

—Josh Herman


(Photo Credit: @ACLU via Twitter)

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