family separations

The Trump administration continues to separate hundreds of migrant children from their parents despite a federal court ruling that ordered an end to the practice, according to court documents filed in California by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Associated Press

Three Democratic lawmakers demanded Tuesday that the Trump administration shut down the country's largest child migrant facility in Florida and release hundreds of teens to small shelters or relatives.

South Florida U.S. representatives say their decision comes after a recent federal court filing by immigrant advocates with hundreds of pages of teens describing "prison-like" conditions endured in the Homestead, Florida facility.

Matias Ocner / Miami Herald

Three members of Congress from Florida are calling for an investigation into a no-bid, $341 million contract recently awarded to the company that runs the Homestead detention center for migrant children.

DANIEL A. VARELA / Miami Herald

More than 300 people flooded the streets Sunday outside the Homestead detention center for migrant children.

The “Mother’s Day March” took place at 920 Bougainville Blvd. in South Miami-Dade, where about 3,200 unaccompanied minors are being detained after crossing the southern border without their biological parents.
 

Dozens of religious organizations were shuttled in while many protesters traveled from out of state to participate.

A 16-year-old boy who traveled to the U.S. from Guatemala has died in U.S. custody in Texas, becoming the third child since early December to die after being detained. He had arrived at the border unaccompanied by his parents or other relatives.

Officials have not yet revealed the boy's identity.

A federal judge decided Friday to expand a class action lawsuit to include thousands more migrant families separated at the border before the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy was announced in 2018.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw's ruling vastly increased the number of people potentially eligible for relief under a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union that challenged the legality of the family separations, and banned the practice.

On June 26 of last year, Sabraw ordered the government to reunite the affected families.

When migrant children cross the border without their parents, they're sent to federal shelters until caseworkers can find them a good home. But everything changes when they turn 18. That's when, in many cases, they're handcuffed and locked up in an adult detention facility. The practice is sparking lawsuits and outrage from immigrant advocates.

Thousands of migrant children continue to arrive at the Southern border every month, without their parents, to ask for asylum. The government sends many of them to an emergency intake shelter in South Florida. That facility has come under intense scrutiny because it's the only child shelter for immigrants that's run by a for-profit corporation and the only one that isn't overseen by state regulators.

Miami Herald

More than 15,000 children are being held in migrant children shelters around the country. A recent ProPublica investigation found some kids are reporting sexual assaults in shelters, and their allegations are not always thoroughly investigated.

A controversial, government-contracted shelter for migrant children in the West Texas desert will shut down later this month, a result of sweeping changes to the rules that govern the custody of youngsters. Nationwide, the number of children in the government's care has stopped growing and begun to fall.

The number of immigrant children being held in government custody has reached almost 15,000, putting a network of federally contracted shelters across the country near capacity.

The national network of more than 100 shelters are 92 percent full, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The situation is forcing the government to consider a range of options, possibly including releasing children more quickly to sponsors in the United States or expanding the already crowded shelter network.

From a field of ripe cotton, the triangular tops of giant tents swoop up behind a covered fence next to a border crossing where drivers tow banged-up used vehicles into Mexico. From the outside, this is about all that's visible of the temporary shelter for migrant children set up on a remote stretch of West Texas desert.

Despite the Trump administration's immigration clampdown, newly released data show the number of Central American families and unaccompanied children crossing the Southwest border illegally has risen sharply.

The government blames loopholes in U.S. immigration laws for acting as a magnet for immigrants. But there's another explanation. The push factors in impoverished regions in Central America are as powerful as ever.

The Trump administration is expanding its shelter capacity to handle a record number of immigrant teenagers who crossed the border seeking work and asylum. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now overseeing the care of 12,800 immigrant children under the age of 18.

Just this week, a federally contracted tent camp on the U.S.-Mexico border in the barren desert near Tornillo, Texas, announced it is expanding from 1,200 to 3,800 beds. This is one in a network of 100 youth shelters across the country.

The death of a toddler is renewing concerns about the quality of medical care that immigrant families receive in federal detention centers.

Eighteen-month-old Mariee Juárez died after being detained along with her mother Yazmin Juárez at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. Her mother says Mariee was a happy, healthy child when they arrived at the U.S. border in March to seek asylum.

Then they were sent to Dilley. Six weeks after being discharged, her mother says, Mariee died of a treatable respiratory infection that began during her detention.

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