The United Nations has some harsh words for the United States regarding how they treat immigrants and their children. They have urged Washington to immediately stop its controversial practice of separating asylum-seeking Central American children from their parents at the southern border.
The office for human rights at the United Nations said it was deeply concerned over the zero tolerance policy initiated by the Trump administration to deter illegal immigration.
Ravina Shamasani, spokeswoman for the U.N., said the policy had “led to people caught entering the country irregularly being subjected to criminal prosecution and having their children – including extremely young children – taken away from them as a result.”
Shamasani said information received from the US civil society groups indicated that several hundred children had been separated from their parents at the border since October.
US Should Immediately Halt Practice
“The US should immediately halt this practice,” she told reporters in Geneva. “The practice of separating families amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child. The use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles,” she said.
She insisted Washington was bound by international human rights laws that its current practices were flouting.
“The child’s best interest should always come first, including over migration management objectives or other administrative concerns,” she said.
“It is therefore of great concern that in the US, migration control appears to have been prioritised over the effective care and protection of migrant children.”
“Detention is never in the best interests of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation,” she said, calling on Washington to “adopt non-custodial alternatives that allow children to remain with their families.”
The US defended the policy saying it aims to stem a surge in the number of poor families, mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, entering the country.
President Trump tweeted on the issue Tuesday and blamed the opposition party. “Separating families at the Border is the fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats,” he wrote. “Border Security laws should be changed but the Dems can’t get their act together! Started the Wall.”