(breitbart) – The Biden administration is being criticized for separating unaccompanied alien children from adult family members after being apprehended at the border. The separation occurs when children arrive at the border with a non-parental adult family member.
USA Today reports the Biden administration “is still sheltering children separated from close family members” after they are apprehended by Border Patrol agents. The criticism comes as President Joe Biden grapples with a growing border crisis as a rapidly growing number of children who are not accompanied by a parent are being apprehended in rapidly increasing numbers.
“The migrant children often arrive with a grandparent, older sibling or other relative but are separated until federal officials can confirm the accompanying adult is their relative, as required under U.S. law,” USA Today stated. Current law requires that a parent or legal guardian be present at the border to qualify as a family unit.
The newspaper reports the children are placed in federal shelters — away from the non-parent adult — until a family member or sponsor can be vetted. This process can take weeks, or even months, to complete. In the meantime, the children are housed separately from the person who brought them to the U.S.
Lisa Koop, associate director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center told the newspaper that this tactic can be equally detrimental to a child being separated from a parent at the border.
“It really does look and feel in many ways like a parent-child separation,” Koop said. “The trauma of the separation is very similar.”
The number of children being apprehended without a parent at the border continues to grow. Due to overcrowding in Health and Human Services shelters for children, the unaccompanied minor is being held in Border Patrol facilities designed from single children — often for more than the 72 hours allowed by law, Breitbart Texas Randy Clark reported.
Advocates are calling on the Biden administration to reduce the time unaccompanied minors spend in shelters while separated from family members, USA Today continued. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters this week that his agency is looking into placing HHS officials in Border Patrol stations to check sponsorship eligibility.