While headlines continue to point to the division of families at the border, the plight of other children has largely been overlooked. Minors who have crossed the border and been swept up not by the US officials, but by cartels and traffickers face significant risk, but have been neglected by the mainstream press. Donald Trump’s latest border rules are designed to protect these forgotten victims and target the traffickers and “coyotes” that prey on minors at the border.
The new border ruling includes a policy aimed at protecting this at-risk group, Unaccompanied Alien Children (or UAC), that has typically been preyed upon by adults wishing to do them harm. The latest border rule by President Trump is designed to protect these children by removing the ability to release them to adults; this would keep these at-risk kids out of the hands of coyotes and traffickers.
In the past, these children could be delivered to illegal alien parents, relatives, potential employers or other families. Traffickers exploited loopholes in the previous policy to divert children and then force them into bondage and sell them to others. The new policy is called “Withholding of Removal,” and would cut the risk of kids being diverted into dangerous situations.
The latest border Procedural Guidance prevents unaccompanied minors from gaining asylum entry, dramatically reducing the amount of kid’s coyotes have access to. It reads:
“The Presidential Proclamation Addressing Mass Migration Through the Southern Border of the United States issued on November 9, 2018 renders UACs who cross the international boundary between the United States and Mexico outside of a port of entry and who do not properly present themselves for inspection would be subject to a suspension of entry. Therefore, while such UACs will continue to be processed in accordance with 6 U.S.C. § 279 and 8 U.S.C. § 1232, they would per the terms of this proclamation and the IFR be barred from asylum eligibility.”
Other steps have been taken to avoid smuggling of kids; enhanced immigration checks for “relatives” picking up kids should reduce the number of children released to unrelated adults. According to the statement from the White House, over a hundred thousand UACs were released into the US – given to relatives, sponsors or employers – in the last two years alone. Many of these children ended up in gangs, forced to work as migrant workers or absorbed into human trafficking rings.
By removing the incentive for smugglers to operate and actively seek out children for nefarious purposes, the Trump administration’s latest move should protect these minors from those seeking to do them harm. The current rule is already being protested by immigration attorneys and elected officials, despite the good it aims to accomplish when it comes to unaccompanied minors at the border.
~ Liberty Planet