Things That Matter

A Family Evacuating Storm Ravaged Abaco Island In The Bahamas Are Fighting To Be Reunited With Their Daughter

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas last week and the Bahamian people are desperate for help. Some of that help is supposed to be coming from the U.S. While the government is allowing some people to enter the country, there have been some stories of the U.S. government causing more harm than good to those seeking help. The latest is the story of a family separated at the border.

A 12-year-old girl was separated from her godmother as her family fled the Bahamas for the U.S.

Credit: @ewarren / Twitter

According to Miami Herald, Kaytora Paul flew with her godmother from Nassau to West Palm Beach, Florida. When the pair arrived at the airport, Customs and Border Patrol immediately diverted them the Miami International Airport. When they arrived at Miami International Airport, the young girl was taken from her godmother.

The news of the separation has sparked outrage across the country with many demanding to know what is going on.

Credit: @Alyssa_Milano / Twitter

The young girl was then sent to His House Children’s Home, which is used for unaccompanied migrant children. CBP claims they separated the girl from the godmother because she is not her biological relative. However, it is also being reported that the girl’s biological aunt arrived at the airport to pick the young girl up and CBP refused to release the girl to her aunt.

Kaytora’s parents are desperately trying to reunite with their daughter currently in immigration detention.

Credit: @RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

“CBP made multiple attempts to contact family members however was unsuccessful—resulting in the need to transfer the child to HHS custody. CBP exercises due diligence to guard against child exploitation and human smuggling during uncertainties created by natural disasters and emergencies,” a CBP spokesperson said in an email to Miami Herald. “When encountering minors, there are legal requirements that CBP must follow that are in place to ensure the safety of the child.”

The incident is taking a toll on the young girl’s family.

Credit: @chrisgeidner / Twitter

“I thought losing my house was devastating. Or having to relocate to a different island or country was devastating,” Katty Paul, Kaytora’s mother, told Miami Herald. “But when I found out that they got her, my baby, I mean, there are no words. It was at that moment that I really lost everything.”

People in the U.S. and the international community are calling on CBP to do the right thing and allow the young girl to be reunited with her family.

Credit: @brownblaze / Twitter

The Paul family lived on the Abaco island. The island is one of the most devastated places in the Bahamas. The category 5 hurricane sat on the Bahamas for 36 hours with winds up to 200+ miles per hour. The devastation of the island nation is forcing Bahamians to evacuate in droves as they hope for a recovery. The official death toll for Hurricane Dorian is currently 50 but it is expected to rise. Some Bahamians have disputed the official number stating that it is clearly higher.

Bahamians were told by the U.S. government that they were allowed to come to the U.S. to escape the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, but there seem to be a few catches.

Credit: @Haikatrine / Twitter

One ferry was told to remove all people without visas to travel to the U.S. after it had set sail despite the U.S. telling people they did not need a visa. CBP claims it was the ferry who told people to disembark the boat but the ferry company places the blame entirely on CBP.

h/t: Miami Herald

READ: The US Promised Entry To Bahamians Without Visas Following Hurricane Dorian Then Changed Their Mind

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Things That Matter

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Biden Administration’s Handling Of The Border Criticized By Both Sides Of The Aisle

Things That Matter

Biden Administration’s Handling Of The Border Criticized By Both Sides Of The Aisle

The Biden administration inherited more than an out of control pandemic when they got to work in January. The former administration also left the Biden administration an orchestrated crisis at the border. For some, President Joe Biden is not acting fast enough to fix the problem.

President Biden announced that Vice President Kamala Harris will lead the response to immigration at the border.

The approach, according to Politico, is going to be a two-pronged approach to effectively curb irregular immigration. First, the vice president will focus on stopping the migration journey by addressing the issues in the countries that people are fleeing. Particularly, Vice President Harris will be focusing on the issues in the Northern Triangle countries, which are El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

At the same time, the vice president will be working with the countries directly to solve the root problems. Vice President Harris will be working to strengthen the nation’s relations with Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

“I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this,” President Biden told reporters at the White House.

There is a lot of talk about the U.S.-Mexico border right now from both Democrats and Republicans.

Bruno Lozano, the Democratic mayor of Del Rio, Texas, is calling on the Biden administration to take steps to curb the issue. Mayor Lozano was a guest on Fox News recently and spoke about what he saw as an influx of migrants coming into his town. Mayor Lozano told Fox News that the number of people coming to the border has strained Customs and Border Patrol in his city.

“You have a breach on national security levels that have never before been seen in modern history and you’re not even batting an eye about it, you’re not even calling it a ‘crisis‘, you’re calling it a quote-unquote challenge,” Mayor Lozano, told the New York Post on Sunday. “It’s a slap in the face.”

Some residents of Del Rio are critical of their local leaders shifting blame for their own shortcomings.

The brutal winter storm that recently shut down Texas depleted many municipalities of their resources. Residents in Del Rio are putting the blame on their local leaders who have tried to pass the buck. Weeks after the winter storm crippled Texas, grocery store shelves remained empty and residents felt overlooked.

Mayor Lozano has been pleading with President Biden to step up and help them deal with the influx of migrants. Del Rio has one processing center for migrants and the increase has left the city and the processing facility strained.

The Biden administration has faced backlash after photos of detention centers show people sleeping on floors.

There have been several reports that the Biden administration is building new places to hold migrants that have come to the border seeking asylum. The administration is currently taking in unaccompanied minors who are arriving at the border while preventing other migrants from crossing the border.

The Biden administration promised to change the approach to the border, but Title 42 has been left intact. Title 42, which was enacted by the former administration at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, keeps people from entering the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order that invoked Title 42, which closed the border indefinitely due to public health concerns.

At the root of the attention is the claim that there is a surge of migrants.

Some Republican politicians are claiming that news of more lenient immigration laws is prompting a “surge” of arrivals. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California claims that what is happening is a “crisis … created by the presidential policies of this new administration.”

Yet, a Washington Post report debunks the idea that there is a sudden surge. Rather, what is happening, according to the report, is a usual seasonal trend. CBP has reported a 28 percent increase in apprehensions at the southern border in January and February but data shows an annual spike in migrants from March to May every year.

The issues on the border are complex and will require a lot of time and energy to handle effectively and compassionately. The Biden administration promised to tackle the complex issue of immigration during the campaign.

READ: Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com