The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is using the global pandemic as a way to justify expediting the deportation of children. The laws of the U.S. allow for restrictions on immigration in times of a global public health crisis to slow the spread of disease, but young migrants who arrive at the border without an adult guardian are protected under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Before the pandemic, unaccompanied minors were provided with shelter and an opportunity to make a case for staying in the U.S. However, in a recent report, the New York Times has found that over 900 unaccompanied children have been deported under the emergency declaration without a chance to claim asylum or coordinate plans with a guardian in that country. https://nyti.ms/3e5ec5c
“We are seeing a pattern emerge where ICE is insisting on deporting unaccompanied immigrant children,” said Asra Syed, a New York lawyer helping two Salvadorian sisters in Houston. “But we haven’t seen it happen to two such young children — our clients are only 8 and 11 — who have a parent in the U.S. ready to receive them, and no one in their home country to care for them.”