Stop the expulsion of vulnerable migrant children at the US border

Stop the expulsion of vulnerable migrant children at the US border

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The CDC order issued on March 20, 2020, which has subsequently been extended indefinitely, suspends the admission of immigrants crossing into the United States over land. The Department of Homeland Security has used this CDC order to justify immediately expelling migrants and asylum seekers from the United States and returning them to Canada, Mexico, or their country of origin without a fair hearing. Those who have been turned away include unaccompanied migrant children, a particularly vulnerable group that needs help and protection.

Unaccompanied children are a protected group under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a bipartisan law that has been reauthorized and strengthened five times since 2000. However, since the CDC order, the Department of Homeland Security has time and again bypassed this law to illegally expel unaccompanied minors by classifying them under the term “single minors” rather than “unaccompanied children”. From March through May 2020, over 2000 unaccompanied migrant children have been turned away using this language and forced to go back to potentially dangerous or life-threatening situations.

Contrary to what the government purports, these children can be afforded protections without creating a threat to public health. The Office of Refugee Resettlement currently has over 13,000 beds available to accommodate unaccompanied children seeking refuge in the United States, and as of mid-June, only 975 children were in its custody. Moreover, approximately 92% of asylum seekers have family or close friends in the United States, meaning that many of these migrant children would be able to be released into the custody of a sponsor and quarantined safely. Lastly, Customs and Border Protection has the discretion to release migrants and asylum seekers swiftly, decreasing the risk that comes with staying in a crowded and unhygienic detention facility.

The United States has the resources to protect unaccompanied migrant children, but the Department of Homeland Security is choosing to illegally expel these children, neglecting their rights and this country’s obligations to asylum seekers. Please sign this petition to tell the Department of Homeland Security and our government officials that the practice of turning away unaccompanied migrant children must stop. We must uphold our duty to protect and the rights of these children to be afforded protection.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!