United Nations office calls on USA to stop separating families at border
United Nations office calls on USA to stop separating families at border
UN says US must stop separating migrant children from parents
08 June, 2018, 15:42
"The child's best interest should always come first, including over migration management objectives or other administrative concerns".
"The US should immediately halt this practice of separating families and stop criminalising what should be at most an administrative offence: That of irregular entry and stay in the US", Shamdasani said.
In a briefing on Tuesday, Shamdasani called the practice a "serious violation" of children's rights and called the separations "arbitrary and unlawful".
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday it's necessary to separate parents and children at the border according to the law, which requires adults be housed separately from minors.
At this time, hundreds of children have spent more than 72 hours in custody at USA border stations, beyond the time limit for holding immigrants of any age in temporary facilities. "They should never do that", he told the Hugh Hewitt Show. "Border Security laws should be changed but the Dems can't get their act together!"
Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the UN high commissioner for human rights, scolded the United States over the hundreds of children removed from parents who were jailed for entering the country illegally. But in a tweet, Trump, who demanded the separation policy be enforced at the beginning of May, blamed opposition Democrats for it.
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Sessions announced early last month that there would be a zero tolerance policy, with all those without papers crossing into the United States charged with illegal entry before they could submit a request for political asylum.
"Children should never be detained for reasons related to their own or their parents' migration status".
The US says the policy aims to stem a surge of poor families mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. "We will remain a generous country, but we are also a sovereign country, with laws that decide how best to control our borders and protect our people".
Thousands cross the US-Mexico border each week and immediately turn themselves in to authorities asking for asylum, citing the daily violence in their home countries.
Asked about comments by senior USA officials that it was normal to remove children from parents in custody, Ms Shamdasani said: "There is nothing normal about detaining children".
This May, the Trump administration enacted a "zero tolerance" policy on the Mexican border by prosecuting all adults crossing into the USA and separating them from their children.
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