Obama Wants To Change Law That Protects Undocumented Children
President Obama wants to change 2008 law that calls for children here without documentation be treated properly.
Under that law, most of the unaccompanied minors being caught by Border Patrol agents must be handed over to the Department of Health and Human Services, which coordinates care for them, finds them safe housing and helps advise them on their legal rights as their immigration cases are decided. The president is now asking Congress to amend the law in a way that would allow Border Patrol agents to render a deportation decision themselves and quickly deport the children back to their home country.
…a White House official confirmed on Wednesday that the administration is considering changes to the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, known as the TVPRA, to fast-track deportation decisions.
Immigration attorneys are outraged that anything would be done to compromise the regulations put in place in 2008/
“It’s an utter devastation of due process for our most vulnerable community members,” said Ruthie Epstein, a Washington-based policy analyst at the ACLU…
For children coming from “contiguous countries” – in other words, Mexico and Canada – a Border Patrol officer has the authority to determine whether the child is eligible to stay in the country. Because the child can be directly and safely handed over to officials from his or her home country, the process can move very quickly.
But for children from all other countries, any repatriation to their home country involves a plane flight and more preparation. The law dictates that after being caught, the child must be turned over within 72 hours to the Department of Health and Human Services to care for them and find them safe housing. HHS is also urged to find them legal counsel and child advocates who can explain the process of applying for asylum or identifying other ways to stay in the country…
The White House official confirmed that the administration is considering asking Congress for permission to treat Central American minors similarly to how the government treats children from Mexico.