Thursday, October 17, 2019

ICE arrests more than 100 immigrants who were supposed to sponsor migrant children

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers reportedly arrested more than 150 undocumented adults who came forward as potential adult sponsors for migrant children detained by U.S. authorities between July and November.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that more than 100 of the roughly 170 migrant adults arrested in that time period had no prior criminal record.

ICE began additional background checks and fingerprinting of potential sponsors in the spring. According to the Chronicle, many of the arrests were made using information uncovered in those background checks.

Democrats have criticized the practice, saying it will result in children being unable to be removed from HHS custody. “It’s outrageous,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told the Chronicle. “I don’t know if this is intended or unintended, but a natural consequence of this is that these children will have nowhere to go.”

ICE reportedly began the practice of fingerprinting potential sponsors and conducting background checks on other adults in sponsor households earlier this year. The Obama administration did not consider the legal status of a sponsor before releasing children into adult family members’ custody.

The Trump administration faced heavy criticism earlier this year over the administration’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy, which led to hundreds of migrant children being detained for crossing the border illegally and many being separated from their families following a mandate from the Justice Department stating that all adults who cross the border illegally must be prosecuted.

THE HILL