The Weekly Round-Up

The Weekly Round-Up

Posted on in Refugees.

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Welcome to The Briefing newsletter by Jason Clarke and Will Maddox. This week, we look at what is happening at the U.S.-Mexico border, focusing on the prospects of reunification for the detained families and how you can help. The Briefing is a collaboration between Seek the Peace and We Welcome Refugees.

Court-ordered reunification

A federal judge in California’s court order asks the government to halt family separations and unite families at the border. The order says that families detained at the border should be kept together unless the parent is judged to be unfit. Setting a timeline, the directive says that children under 5 should be reunited within 14 days and five and older within 30 days.

Reunification difficulties

Trump officials said the timetable set by the federal judge would be difficult to follow. Health and Human Services officials said they were attempting to connect children with their parents, but there are no plans to release children to their parents while being detained. Officials said the adults must be vetted to ensure they are actually the parents of the children, which may include a birth certificate, DNA testing or other biometrics. A 1997 settlement prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention centers for more than 20 days, adding another hurdle to reunification.

Asylum seekers denied

A new policy being considered by the Justice Department would deny asylum to anyone who entered the US illegally. As it stands now, if a refugee crosses the US border between ports of entry, they can present themselves to border patrol agents and be given an asylum hearing, but the new plan would deny asylum for illegal entry to the country. Many who come to official ports of entry into the US face violence from smugglers who deny access, while others have to wait for weeks because they are told there is no room to process their requests for asylum.

Help reunite families

As 2,000 kids remain separated from their families at the border, media organizations are partnering to gather information about children and immigrants, so if you have knowledge about a separated family or facility where children are being held, contact the Texas Tribune.