Free Press Journal

US has separated 2,000 children from parents on Mexico border


(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 14, 2018 Critics of US government policy which separates children their parents when they cross the border illegally from Mexico protest during a 'Families Belong Together March', in downtown Los Angeles, California . Nearly 2,000 minors were separated from their parents or adult guardians who illegally crossed into the United States over a recent six-week period, officials said Friday in the most comprehensive 2018 figures provided on family separations. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck

Washington : The US government has separated at least 2,000 children from their parents at the Mexico border since implementing a policy that results in such family separations, the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) has confirmed.

From April 19 through May 31 this year, 1,995 minors travelling with 1,940 adults who said they were the children’s guardians were separated due to the policy, CNN quoted DHS spokesman Jonathan Hoffman as saying on Friday.

According to Hoffman, the call was largely to defend the administration’s decision to charge every adult caught crossing the border illegally with federal crimes, as opposed to referring those with children mainly to immigration courts, as previous administrations did.   Because the government is

charging the parents in the criminal justice system, children are separated from them, with no clear procedure for their reunification aside from hotlines the parents can call to try to track down their children.

   The policy to refer all adults for charges was publicly announced on May 7, though the Justice Department announced it would prosecute 100 per cent of the cases referred to it at the beginning of April.  “We make decisions based on the ability to detain and the ability of courts to take these cases, but we no longer exempt categories or classes of individuals,” a DHS official said.

“By and large, we are accepting nearly all of the referrals that we get from our counterparts at DHS, we continue to work with the federal judiciary on practical solutions to differing caps that they have,” CNN quoted a Justice Department official as saying.

“In terms of declining prosecution, we’re not going to get into specifics.” The UN has called on the US to immediately halt the separations, the BBC reported.

‘Will ship 25 million Mexicans to Japan, Trump threatened Abe’

Washington: Donald Trump threatened Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe saying he would ship 25 million Mexicans to his country, one of a series of bizarre missives that jarred fellow leaders at last week’s acrimonious G7 meet, according to a report. The Group of Seven summit gathering of top industrialized democracies finished in disarray after the US president abruptly rejected its consensus statement and bitterly attacked Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau. Behind the scenes, Trump’s counterparts were dismayed by verbal jabs on topics ranging from trade to terrorism and migration, The Wall Street Journal said, quoting European officials who were present. At one point he described migration as a big problem for Europe, then said to Abe, “Shinzo, you don’t have this problem, but I can send you 25 million Mexicans and you’ll be out of office very soon,” creating a sense of irritation in the room, according to an EU official.