Congressional Democrats are using the coronavirus to demand entire illegal alien families in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention be released while unaccompanied minors have been released to prevent an outbreak.
Democrat lawmakers sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) demanding children and parents who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally be released to allow them to live together in the interior of the country.
In a June 30 letter to Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and ICE Acting Director Matthew T. Albence, 80 Democrats, including member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said illegal alien parents should not be asked to give permission for their children to be released as they are held in detention.
“Family separation should never be this country’s policy. Medical organizations have long stated that the practice creates extraordinary harm to children,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “Detention of children for any amount of time, even with their parents, causes physical harm and irreparable trauma.”
“We call upon ICE to act with compassion and release families together,” the letter said.
CBS News reported:
The letter is a direct response to an order last week by the federal judge overseeing the government’s compliance with the landmark Flores Settlement Agreement, which includes certain mandates for the care of migrant children in U.S. custody. Citing recently reported coronavirus cases among detained families, as well as allegedly lax masking and social distancing enforcement at two family detention facilities in Texas, U.S. Judge Dolly Gee ordered ICE to release all minors who have been held for more than 20 days.
Because the 1997 Flores agreement affords protections only to minors, Gee does not have the authority to mandate the release of their parents. She gave ICE two options to comply with her order by July 17. The agency can release minors alone to sponsors, as long as the parents consent to being separated. Or it can remove the families from detention together, using its discretionary authority to grant parole to release the parents.
Following another order from Gee in April, ICE asked parents at its three family detention facilities whether they would agree to be separated from their children. In a court filing, the agency said it denied parole to most children in its custody because parents did not “wish to separate,” among other reasons.
“No parent should be presented with that choice. It’s cruel and unnecessary,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told CBS News. “We are going to continue to press ICE to do the right thing in this situation.”
“The parents don’t pose a security risk and family separation would be a shock and cruelty to the children and their parents,” Castro said.
The CBS report said that 11 members of migrant family at the Karnes Country Residential Center in Karnes County, Texas, have tested positive for the virus and four at a detention facility in Dilley, Texas.
No infections have been reported at a third detention center in Pennsylvania, according to CBS.
As Breitbart News reported, President Donald Trump and his deputies shut down in May the coyote-run smuggling pipeline that has used federal agencies to deliver almost 500,000 youths and children to their illegal alien parents living in northern cities.
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