Asylum Seeker Separated From Family Under New Trump Policy Commits Suicide
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by Causes | 6.11.18
After being separated from his wife and 3-year-old son under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, an asylum seeker was found dead in his jail cell from an apparent suicide.
The United Nations Human Rights Office last week condemned separating migrant families at the U.S. border and called for authorities to “immediately halt” the practice.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said:
We do not have a policy of administrative separation. We are not doing that. Families or people that come across as a group, as a family-unit group, are being separated only if the adults are being prosecuted or if there’s a determination made by the agent that there’s not actually a family relationship…
A senior government official speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters last week that nearly 1,800 immigrant families had been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border between October 2016 and February of this year, and that family separations have risen sharply in recent weeks because of the zero-tolerance policy.
McAleenan said that it’s too early to tell if zero tolerance—which he describes as a “consequence-delivery system”—is having any deterrent effect on would-be migrants.
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—Sara E. Murphy
(Photo Credit: Jonathan McIntosh)
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