U.S. 'zero tolerance' policy led to family separation at the border
child family separation u.s. border

‘Zero tolerance’ policy led to family separation at the U.S. border

The U.S. government has enforced a now infamous “zero tolerance” policy on immigrants who illegally cross the border. The Trump administration has decided to prosecute adult asylum seekers as criminals – which has led to their separation from their children. Since October 2017, at least 2,700 children have been taken from their parents (including 49 Brazilians), with more than two-thirds of these cases happening over the past six weeks.

</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After an enormous backlash &#8211; even from conservative sectors of American society &#8211; U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to end family separation. However, Mr. Trump has not backed down from his &#8220;zero tolerance&#8221; stance, instead allowing families to keep their children in detention centers while they await trial. Moreover, migrant children who have already been separated won&#8217;t immediately be reunited with their parents.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Los Angeles Times has depicted scenes from a shelter through the lens of a man with Brazilian descendence who was forced to quit his job as a youth care worker at the beginning of June. Antar Davidson has worked at a shelter in Tucson, Arizona for few months and shows the California-based newspaper a place which is “understaffed and unequipped” to deal with such complex and traumatic situations. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Davidson tells the story of three Brazilian siblings who were taken to the shelter after being separated from their parents at the U.S. border. Like the other kids, desperation and a deep sense of loss was the predominant feeling. They weren&#8217;t even allowed to hug each other during their time at the facility. Besides the siblings, 46 other Brazilian-born children are being kept in similar conditions across the U.S.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Initial reports from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security counted only eight Brazilian children in this situation. The figures were updated, but the DHS offered no additional information to Brazilian diplomats. &#8220;It&#8217;s just a spreadsheet with the name of the institution where the minor is located, but not we don&#8217;t even know [the child&#8217;s] name,&#8221; said Felipe Santarosa, Brazil&#8217;s Deputy Consul General in Houston, to state-run news service <a href="http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/internacional/noticia/2018-06/eua-49-criancas-brasileiras-estao-em-abrigos-separadas-dos-pais">EBC</a>.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brazil&#8217;s Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement saying it is monitoring the situation &#8220;with great concern.&#8221; It also classified the policy as a &#8220;cruel practice clearly dissonant from international instruments of child protection.&#8221; Hours after Mr. Trump&#8217;s latest executive order, however, the Brazilian government released a statement expressing its hope for a definite end to the separation policy. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The statement also said that Brazilian consulates in the U.S. are trying to help the Brazilian child <a href="https://brazilian.report/2018/02/21/venezuelans-moving-brazil/">migrants</a>, offering information such as mapping shelters to identify new cases and update numbers, and deepening monitor and council assistance to under-aged Brazilians being held. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">&#8220;But the Brazilian government has no means to ask for the liberation of our citizens who crossed the U.S. border. We can&#8217;t do that,&#8221; said Santarosa in the same interview.

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BY The Brazilian Report

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