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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Court Orders ICE To Release Children In Their Custody As COVID-19 Tears Through Detention Centers

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Court Orders ICE To Release Children In Their Custody As COVID-19 Tears Through Detention Centers

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

COVID-19 is spiking across the U.S. with 32 states watching as new cases of the virus continue to climb day after day. California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida are among states that have set daily new infection records. With this backdrop, a federal judge has ruled that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) must release children, with their parents, by July 17.

A judge ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release children in detention by a certain date.

U.S. Judge Dolly Gee ordered ICE to act quickly in response to the rampant COVID-19 spread in detention centers to protect the health of migrants. Judge Gee is giving ICE until July 17 to comply and release all children that have been in the agency’s custody.

U.S. Judge Gee ruled that the threat of the pandemic is great where the children are being held.

“Given the severity of the outbreak in the counties in which FRCs are located and the Independent Monitor and Dr. Wise’s observations of non-compliance or spotty compliance with masking and social distancing rules, renewed and more vigorous efforts must be undertaken to transfer (children) residing at the FRCs to non-congregate settings,” Judge Gee wrote in her order.

Concerned politicians and public figures are celebrating the judge’s order.

The order is aimed specifically at the Family Residential Centers (FRCs) and Office of Refugee Resettlement camps across the country. The virus has been running rampant in detention centers and prisons and, according to the judge, unsurprisingly the virus has made it to the FRCs.

She continued: “The FRCs are ‘on fire’ and there is no more time for half measures.”

National leaders are calling on ICE to follow the ruling by a federal judge.

The judge’s order is aimed at the three FRCs in the U.S. Two are in Texas and one is in Pennsylvania. Unaccompanied minors in various shelters are also included in the order.

“Although progress has been made, the Court is not surprised that [COVID-19] has arrived at both the [Family Residential Centers] and [Office of Refugee Resettlement] facilities, as health professionals have warned all along,” Judge Gee wrote.

This story is developing and we will update as new information arises.

READ: After COVID-19 Shut Down Flights, A Man Sailed Across The Atlantic Ocean All So That He Could See His Dad

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Supreme Court Refuses Case Challenging California’s Sanctuary State Status

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Supreme Court Refuses Case Challenging California’s Sanctuary State Status

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The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to hear a challenge to California’s sanctuary state law. At the heart of the case is the state’s law limiting the cooperation of state law enforcement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to California’s sanctuary state law in a 7-2 vote.

Conservative justice Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. both wanted to hear the case brought by the Trump administration. The other justices, John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer voted against the Trump administration refusing to hear the case.

The court, as per usual custom, did not offer a reason as to why they will not hear the case. This means that the previous ruling the case will stand.

The previous court ruling, supporting the law, will now stand in California.

A unanimous panel of judges in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in favor of the law. According to the lower court’s ruling, the federal government has no power in commandeering a state’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The ruling states that California’s law can stand because of the Tenth Amendment.

This is a significant blow to the Trump administration that has made a toughness on immigration central to their mission. President Donald Trump, who lost in the Supreme Court twice today, started his 2016 campaign railing against Mexican immigrants calling them rapists and criminals.

The decision is making some people question the humanity of Thomas and Alito.

Justices Thomas and Alito are notorious for being very conservative justices. The two justices usually vote along party lines siding with the Conservative population. Their rulings are often targeted at limiting rights to certain groups. Justice Thomas makes news when he asks questions from the bench because of his consistent silence.

The ruling has sent critics of the president into a laugh-filled celebration.

It wasn’t long ago that news agencies reported that Trump went to the bunker during the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington. Trump claims that he went to the bunker to inspect it, not to hide from protesters. The news sent protesters and BLM supports to call out the president unable to handle a protest against him.

Some people think it has been a very bad day for the U.S. president.

A Supreme Court decision is precedent. Now, the California law limiting cooperation between state law enforcement and ICE can be replicated in other states. It is also another example of a state’s rights being protected.

READ: Supreme Court Hearing Arguments For DACA, Leaning Towards Elimination

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