Trump admin. deported 600 migrant kids under Stephen Miller-led order: report
600 unaccompanied minors were deported by the Trump administration in April under a Stephen Miller-led order exploiting the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reports, a surge from the at least 299 who were deported toward the end of March. Some of the kids that have been quickly deported in blatant violation of U.S. law meant to protect migrant children have been as young as 10, the report said.
“In interviews with The Associated Press, two recently expelled teens said border agents told them they wouldn’t be allowed to request asylum,” the report said. “They were placed in cells, fingerprinted and given a medical exam. Then, after four days, they were flown back to their home country of Guatemala.”
Over 770 doctors, nurses, health workers, and public health professionals recently signed onto a letter urging CDC director Robert R. Redfield to end the order that the administration claims allows it to ignore asylum law out of supposed public health concerns. “Legal guidance issued by the U.N. Refugee Agency (‘UNHCR’) on asylum protections in the COVID-19 pandemic makes clear that the U.S. may not put in place measures that categorically deny people seeking protection and effective opportunity to ask for asylum,” the letter said.
Yet a top border official indicated that it may be set to extend this temporary order, which was clearly never meant to be temporary. “The expulsion policy is set to expire on May 20, but acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan told reporters during a conference call last week that it may be extended,” Newsweek reported, saying that thousands of others in addition to the children have also been kicked out of the U.S. under Miller’s radical changes.
One deported teen, 17-year-old Osvaldo, told the AP that U.S. agents wouldn’t even let him call his dad in Guatemala. “He was held with other children in a cold room and issued a foil blanket as well as a new mask and pair of gloves each of the four days he was in custody,” the report said. “Someone took his temperature before he was deported, but he wasn’t tested for the coronavirus until he was back in Guatemala. Osvaldo was given no immigration paperwork, just the medical report from his examination.”
Osvaldo told the AP that he “thought they would help me or let me fight my case, but no.” Instead, asylum and anti-trafficking laws be damned, the same Trump administration that has touted itself as pro-life is deporting kids back to possible danger and death. Psychiatrist Amy Cohen told the AP that children like Osvaldo have already “gone through multiple traumas, ending with the experience of being placed on a plane by himself and flown to a country where no one knew he was coming.”