Immigration

Trump administration increases practice in spite out outcry against it

HOUSTON, Tex. (KYMA, KECY) – A court-appointed monitor says the Trump administration has increased its use of hotels to detain immigrant children before deporting them from the country.

New data shows the number of minors placed in hotels by immigration officials more than doubled in the month of July. It also shows the government is keeping children as young as 10 in hotels before sending them back to their home countries.

An independent monitor appointed by a federal court released the new statistics Wednesday. Andrea Sheridan Ordin told CBS News, between March and July immigration officials placed at least 577 children into hotels while processing their deportations. Ordin says some may stay as little as five days, while others may be held for more than a month.

She has urged Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to abandon the practice, or at least limit its use to minors 15 and older. Ordin says the lack of adult supervision for much younger children concerns her.

The government says it began the practice to stop the spread of coronavirus, and protect the children from the virus. However, critics say it violates federal anti-trafficking laws, and a 20-year-old court settlement.

ICE says the cited laws don’t apply, because the children are being processed as part of a the same public health order that closed the border to asylum seekers at the start of the pandemic.

The government also says the conditions inside hotel are vastly better than those inside detention centers.

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