Immigration: Undocumented Children Held In Adult Prisons?

Remember those twenty kids killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut? You know, the ones that very few are even mentioning anymore, now that the gun control debate is dead? Well don’t worry, folks. Here’s a story involving children that should be discussed in the media. I’m not sure you’ll be moved to tears after reading this story. But, it is yet another example of this country’s broken immigration system. It may be an often overused cliche, however, the immigration system is in need of a serious overhaul.

So, don’t cry after reading this; instead, call your congressional representative and voice your displeasure. Why? Because the following report may be of concern to you; and, hopefully enough of a concern to motivate you to call your Congressional representatives. That is unless you’re supportive of the idea of kicking children out of the country after keeping them in detention centers with adults. Of course these are the very individuals who would qualify for the DACA which was signed by President Obama.  If you’re not onew of those people, you should call them.

The House passed a homeland security spending bill on Wednesday that sent a message to immigrants in the country without authorization: we don’t want you here.

Nearly all House Republicans voted to add an amendment to the bill that would cut funding for an Obama administration program that allows young undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S.

[,,,] The reason immigration came up during the discussion of homeland security funding is because the U.S. Department of Homeland Security oversees federal immigration programs, including the aforementioned initiative, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

“I think it sends a very interesting signal to the Latino community because this motion would essentially invalidate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for DREAMers,” said Cecilia Muñoz, the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, at a briefing for Hispanic media. “It will be interesting to see what the reaction is in the community.”

The vote is largely symbolic. It’s very unlikely the Democrat-controlled Senate would support a bill containing that provision, or that the president would sign it into law. (source)

Aside from that, the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) recently discovered through a 2010 FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) request, that from 2008 to 2012 the Department of Homeland Security maintained the practice of detaining children in adult immigration detention facilities. Can you imagine that? I’m not sure, but isn’t this a serious human rights violation?

Watch the following:

A young child and his mother wait in a US border detention center before being returned to their home country. Bill Gentile/Zuma

The report determined (click here to read it) that from 2008-2010 children under the age of 18 were cumulatively held for a total of 36,598 days in 30 different adult detention centers here in the United States. Four children were detained between 1,000 and 3,600 days, with one child being held for a decade after being detained at the age of 15. Did you hear that? One child was detained for a decade in an adult immigration detention center.

The NIJC also alleges that the data has been under-reported.  Given this fact, there is no way of actually knowing how many undocumented children are being caged nationwide.What we do know, however, is that Congress voted unanimously to deport individuals brought here through no fault of their own. Of course being held in an adult immigration detention as an undocumented child is a lot better than being gunned down and having your life innocently taken away. But the sad truth is that the deportation of said youth is much like a death sentence.

Watch the video: