US immigration authorities use information given them by migrant children to deport relatives


In November 2018, 112 civil liberties, immigrant rights groups, child welfare advocates, and privacy activists wrote a letter to the heads of the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security demanding an immediate halt to the HHS Office for Refugee Resettlement's practice of using information given them by detained migrant children to arrest and deport their US-based relatives and other sponsors. The policy began in April 2018, and the result has been that families are frightened to sponsor children. As of November, the data sharing has led to the arrest for deportation by ICE of at least 41 relatives and household members illegally resident in the US. Also in November 2018, the ACLU sued to end mandatory fingerprinting of potential sponsors, instituted as part of the same policy, which has slowed placing the children, who now spend close to 70 days in custody, and increased the numbers held in custody to around 14,000.

Writer: Frank Bajak

Publication: Associated Press

Publication date: 2018-11-28