The Trump administration sticks to its 'zero tolerance' policy over
undocumented immigration to the US. Its every single move is proving a fear
factor for the non-residents of India, especially. Now, its cruelty is before
all with the detention of the immigrant children.
Immigrant Children Arrested in the US:
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has come into action. Although
whatever it is doing that is absolutely legal yet, it cannot be taken for
granted. It has started thrusting NRI parents and other sponsors who take care
of unaccompanied immigrant children into the jail. Now, it's the time to
re-define the NRI legal needs. The immigration policies should have some
leniency for such undocumented sponsors.
Children in Trauma
The ICE explicitly reported the sensational news of 41 sponsors' arrest. Their
only offense was to live in the US without official permission of the USCIS.
These detentions have been turned on for two and half months. In all, it
configures its 70 percent, according to an online news publisher (the hill).
Indian diaspora is seeking legal assistance from the NRI's matter experts. It
has resulted in an exponential rise in the online inquiries for the legal aide
on the services2nri.com. It is asking for the attorneys and government officials
Cause of Detention:
The report spotlights that around 80 percent of sponsors have not officially
documented the sponsorship. Resultantly, their undocumented sponsorship wasn't
deemed by the US immigration authority during the fiscal year 2017. It compelled
ICE to put an additional 33, 998 children annually behind the bar. The Health
and Human Services (HHS) and Customs Border Patrol (CBP) publicized data
regarding sponsorship placement. It shockingly dropped from 100 percent in the
fiscal 2017 to only 70 percent in just 11 months in the fiscal 2018. In other
words, nearly 1,236 children are forced to live in confinement. Now, the
innocent children have to be sentenced for a long period. On the flip side,
their expense would be driven from the pocket of the US taxpayers. Instead of
enduring such a big loss, the care takers/sponsors should be allowed to live a
little longer there to take care of the immigrant children.
The Congress has come into action. It strongly condemned and talked about the
NRIs legal needs. It has immediately announced that it won't hesitate to step up
and support the Bipartisan Bill in the House of Representatives. This bill might
play a crucial role in navigating those children across this immigration crisis.
If it's passed, the targeting to the sponsors would be considered illegal.
What has caused prolonged lockup of the undocumented NRI children?
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and HHS inked a treaty on April 18,
2018 for the office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The agreement directed to
transfer fingerprints and other information on sponsors and other members to the
ICE. This process took 59 days to take place.
Meantime, the children stayed in the jail. However, the ORR has not shared with
the sponsors that it has signed any treaty with the ICE. Perhaps, if it publicly
announces, a lot of sponsors will not give a single thought to sponsor them.
They will be aware of the fact that their sponsorship can sentence them, or
perhaps, they might be deported. If they will be sent back to their native
country, they won't be able to help the immigrant children.
As a repercussion, the condition of the children would be worse. ORR is facing
problems. It has already multiplied beddings in the last year from 6,500 to
13,000. However, it received $1.3 annually to detain the immigrant children.
But, it is an additional burden upon the US government. The estimated figure
points it four times more.
Alternatives to Locate Immigrant Children:
Nobody has clues over what happens to the children when their sponsors/parents
Possibly, the US government can provide these two solutions to the legal
needs of the immigrants:
1. It should re-admit children into the confinement unless their
sponsors/parents are probed or located.
2. The ORR should continue keeping the children into its custody while taking
care of their needs, if they don't get any sponsors.
Both these alternatives will lead to progression in the count of immigrant
children. Consequently, it is more likely that the tent cities, like Tornillo,
will expand around the country. Besides, the chances of child trafficking or
child-abuses would be more prominent. If so happens, it would be an explicit
breaching of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection
Reauthorization Act. Apart from these NRIs legal solutions, the US
administration can opt out another option. It implicates that the detained
children should not be re-detained. Rather, they should be left with someone who
may or may not be probed by the US immigration authority under the amended
Violation of Flores Settlement Agreement and International treaties:
1. Infringement of Flores Settlement Agreement:
Amid current lockups of
the non-resident children, the US administration is clearly infringing the
Flores Settlement Agreement. It mandates children's arrest in the least
restrictive settings. Also, it states that they should not be kept behind bars
for more than 20 days. Thereby, the current policy is directly violating this
agreement by keeping those children in the custody for more than 20 days.
2. Infringement of the International Treaties:
This custodial confinement
of the undocumented immigrant children violates the human rights of children and
their families life along with personal integrity. This breaking of law is a
showcase of foul play of domestic and international laws. What the American
Academy of Pediatrics says is that the on-going child-abuses will cause trauma
in the detained and separated children. In the nutshell, the immigrant children
don't have an access to the facility that provides a government-appointed
lawyer. So, they see silver lining in the faces of the sponsors and their
parents. Only these two helps can seek out legal counsel for them. It will
ensure the safeguarding of their legal rights, education and medicinal
requirements. So, the administration should simply halt captivating sponsors.
Rather, it should try to build trust in the immigration society. Thereby, the
sponsoring community would ensure the appearance of the children for the court