Postpone Trump's visit to the UK and call for a complete revision on Zero Tolerance Policy
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Donald Trump is due to come to the UK on 13 July 2018. Theresa May will be rolling out the red carpet, in a move that she hopes will improve her personal relationship with Donald Trump.
Under the Trump administration's new Zero Tolerance Policy on immigration, parents are prosecuted for illegally entering the USA, with the goal of a 100% prosecution rate, and are sent directly to ICE detention. Children are sent to separate holding facilities, treated as though they came to the country alone, and go into custody of the ORR (Office of Refuge Resettlement). The Trump administration has no clear plan or protocol to track the families while they are separated.
Children are caged in basic holding facilities, with the older forced to care and comfort the younger, and workers are told to ignore their cries. Some videos show the workers mocking the children's screams for their parents.
Mothers are separated from their children for months, with no indication of where they are or how to contact them. They are encouraged to sign a voluntary departure order that fast-tracks them for deportation, thinking that signing will allow them to be reunited with their children sooner. A woman named Ana Rivera and her 5 year old son, Jairo, have currently been held in different facilities for 6 weeks, after she signed a voluntary departure order. Instead of a reconciliation between the two, she was immediately charged with illegal entry, held in custody in New Mexico, and then sent to an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) center in Texas. When her son became under the custody of the ORR, he, as all children are, was assigned a unique identifier known as a "Alien Registration Numbers". Rivera was given a telephone number from another separated mother in her facility, which led to Rivera discovering Jairo's ARN with the help of an ORR case worker. Still now, she faces deportation without her son.
In yet another impressive display of callousness, Trump has defended his 'Zero Tolerance Policy'. Trump previously postponed his UK visit amid protests of his arrival, and a public denouncement of the policy will join with the voices of other World Leaders who are also condemning the situation.
Last month over 2300 parents and families were separated at the border and given no information as to how to contact their children. What's happening to thousands of families right now is a humanitarian crisis.
I urge Theresa May to publicly postpone Trump's UK visit, and call for settlement of immigrant and refuge families to always remain together.
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