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White House Immigration Principles Violate Children’s Human RightsChildren of Immigrants
WASHINGTON—First Focus abhors the lasting harm to children that would result from the Trump Administration’s immigration principles, which were announced late Sunday night.
“It’s not fair to cut deals on the backs of refugee children. The White House plan turns a blind eye to basic human rights and principles that have been part of U.S. law for decades,” said First Focus President Bruce Lesley.
The White House plan would strip away due process protections for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the United States and make it more difficult for kids to have representation in asylum hearings due to expedited removal processes. It would also reclassify unaccompanied children if they have parents or guardians in the United States, regardless of whether they arrived at the border alone.
It would also make it more difficult for abused and neglected children to get a Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa and would tear families apart by making visa determinations based on economic contributions and a vague and arbitrary notion of “assimilation.”
The plan would drastically cut legal refugees from entering the United States and increase the detention of children, causing lasting trauma and psychological harm.
Lesley added: “The time is now for Congress to act in the best interest of all immigrant children and pass a clean Dream Act.”