Things That Matter

Sponsors Of Immigrant Children Face Major Challenges In Transportation Fees

Families and sponsors caring for migrant children separated from their families are paying a huge price to help reunite families. The U.S. government is asking them to dig deep into their pockets to shell out money to bring them together. For a migrant child to leave an immigration facility, parents and other relatives are required to pay a huge fee. The fee covers a round trip for an escort to accompany the children on their trips, according to report from The New York Times.

Relatives have paid upwards of $2,000 per child to cover transportation costs and at times aren’t able to afford these costs, The New York Times reports. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), housed within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for these high and incurring fees.

Over several weeks, the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy saw more than 2,300 migrant children separated from their parents. The children are then sent to centers around the country thousands of miles away. Sponsors covering transportation isn’t a new policy, according to Business Insider. It has been halted in the past. However it’s now being applied to parents whose children were taken away under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.

The policy has since been stopped by an executive order when the Trump administration bowed to public outrage.

The payment requirement was waived under the Obama administration when large numbers of families began arriving in 2016. Family members who will live in the home of a migrant child are also being forced to provide fingerprints to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The New York Times describes a Salvadoran woman originally being asked to pay $4,000 to fly her 12-year-old niece, 10-year-old nephew and an escort from Texas to California. She had to convince the detention shelter she couldn’t afford the payment.

“The government is creating impossible barriers and penalizing poverty,” Neha Desai, the director of immigration at the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland, California, told The New York Times.

The fees have also impacted potential sponsors from bringing children to their homes. Aside from being asked to pay high fees to transport the children, some are being told they need to live in better neighborhoods, according to The New York Times.

President Trump signed an executive order last month supposedly rolling back the child separation practice he created — seeking to replace it instead with indefinite family detention — but a judge last week ordered that families be reunited within 30 days. But so far, nothing has happened to get the order done.

Read more from The New York Times by clicking here.


READ: The Dangerous Way Trump Wants To Deal With Undocumented Immigrants And Their Children

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The Principal Of A Florida School Was Captured Spanking An Undocumented Six-Year-Old Student With A Paddle

Fierce

The Principal Of A Florida School Was Captured Spanking An Undocumented Six-Year-Old Student With A Paddle

Corporal punishment includes all sorts of cruel physical acts. They range from spanking, slapping, force-feeding, and pinching to pulling, twisting, and striking with an object. The act of corporal punishment has long been criticized for its part in causing greater damage than intended.

Though the effects might bring around immediate compliance, researchers have underlined that such changes in behavior are often only short-term and can increase aggressive behavior. Perhaps this is why the act has varying legal statuses across the country.

Elementary school principal Melissa Carter is learning her own lesson from corporal punishment, but not as the receiver.

The elementary school principal from Florida is being investigated by local authorities after her use of corporal punishment on a 6-year-old student was captured on camera.

Principal Melissa Carter and school clerk Cecilia Self used a paddle on the student last month as punishment for damaging a computer screen. According to local CBS affiliate WINK News, corporal punishment was performed on the child in front of their mother. The mother used her cell phone to record the paddling in a clip that has gone viral.

According to WINK News, a female employee from the school contacted the child’s mother on April 13 after her daughter allegedly damaged a computer.

The mother of the child, who speaks Spanish and not fluent English, said that she was confused by the allegations made against her daughter during the phone call. During the conversation the school employee had mentioned “paddling” but the mother didn’t understand what that meant because of her language barrier.

She had been under the impression that she had been brought to the school to pay a $50 fine. Instead, she was taken to Principal Carter’s office where her daughter and the principal were waiting.

Carter soon brought out a wooden paddle and smacked the six-year-old on the backside. The video recorded by the mothers shows the little girl crying in pain during the attack.   

The mother claimed she resisted intervening because she feared having her immigration status brought into question.

“Nobody would have believed me. I sacrificed my daughter, so all parents can realize what’s happening in this school,” told the local news about the incident. “The hatred with which she hit my daughter, I mean it was a hatred that, really I’ve never hit my daughter like she hit her. I had never hit her.”

Bret Provinsky, the mother’s attorney, said the State Attorney’s Office is currently reviewing the case to see whether they will pursue criminal charges against Carter and Cecilia Self.

Self was meant to translate for the mother, but the mother said she did not do so. “That’s aggravated battery. They’re using a weapon that can cause severe physical harm,” said Provinsky. “The child is terrified, she feels vulnerable. There’s nothing she can do in the hands of these adults, who treated her so brutally, savagely, sadistically.”

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Rite Aid Refused To Give Undocumented Residents The COVID-19 Vaccine Even Though They’re Eligible

Things That Matter

Rite Aid Refused To Give Undocumented Residents The COVID-19 Vaccine Even Though They’re Eligible

As the United States ramps up its vaccination program (with more than two million people getting vaccinated each day), many Americans are eager to get that jab in the arm. But who is eligible varies from state to state and sometimes even county to county.

Despite the different eligibility thresholds in each state (depending on age group or risk factors), there is no immigration requirement whatsoever at the federal, state or local level. However, not all places are following that guideline and some undocumented residents are being incorrectly turned away.

The pharmacy chain Rite Aid is apologizing after two undocumented residents were denied vaccines.

The giant pharmacy chain Rite Aid has apologized to two undocumented immigrants who the company said were “mistakenly” denied COVID-19 vaccinations at Southern California stores. However, since then, the two women have been invited back by Rite Aid to get their vaccinations and the chain has issued an apology.

Rite Aid spokesperson Christopher Savarese described both cases as “isolated” incidents resulting from workers at the stores not following established protocols for vaccine eligibility. The employees will be re-educated on the protocols to make sure everyone is on the same page.

In a statement later sent to ABC News, Rite Aid officials said, “In such an unprecedented rollout, there are going to be mistakes and there will be always areas for providers to improve — we’re seeking out those opportunities every day.”

Savarese added, “This is very important to us that this is corrected. Both of the situations that we’re talking about have been resolved, and both of those people will be getting their vaccine at Rite Aid.”

To clarify, just who is eligible for the vaccine at this moment?

Although vaccine eligibility does vary from state to state, even county to county, there is nothing requiring that someone prove their immigration status to receive a vaccine. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, who represents Los Angeles, told ABC News that the legal immigration status of a person is not supposed to interfere with them getting vaccinated.

“That is not a requirement whatsoever at the federal, state or local level, and that organization (Rite Aid) has been told very clearly that that was wrong, and they immediately apologized for doing so, but it left the woman very distraught,” Cárdenas told KABC of Rager’s employee.

On Feb. 1, the federal Department of Homeland Security issued a statement that the agency and its “federal government partners fully support equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for undocumented immigrants.”

“It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine. DHS encourages all individuals, regardless of immigration status, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines,” the DHS statement reads.

However, the confusion over whether undocumented immigrants qualify to receive vaccine has continued to occur not only in Southern California, but elsewhere in the country. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley issued an apology to at least 14 people who were rejected Feb. 20 at its vaccination site because they could not provide proof of U.S. residency.

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