Testimonies reveal that the Biden administration still has more work to do to protect unaccompanied children


Another 17-year-old girl He said in a court document dated June 4 She was held in CBP custody for 11 days (Almost four times the legal limit) before being sent to Camp Fort Bliss. While her uncle provided his fingerprints as part of the bail process, there was no indication of a release date as of June 4. As of the document date, she has been in Fort Bliss for two months.

“Because I’ve been here for so long, I’ve been feeling very anxious, and my blood pressure has gone up,” the girl said in the document. “I have never had this problem before. My blood pressure makes me dizzy and gives me headaches. Once about a month ago I fainted because of my anxiety.” She said that she “used to be able to deal with my anxiety and breathe through it, but now I feel like I’ve given up. I feel like I’ll never get out of here.”

Reuters reported that another girl in Fort Bliss, a 13-year-old girl, was placed on suicide watch after being held at the camp for nearly two months. Disturbingly, the report said she had already made it to the southern border with her father, but had been separated from him when she tried to cross the river. Meanwhile, other children have spoken of the difficulty of obtaining information about their cases, or even just trying to talk to a lawyer.

“There is no one here that I can talk to about my condition,” said a 17-year-old who is being held at a convention center in Dallas. “There is no one here that I can talk to when I am sad. There is no one here; I just talk to God. She helps me as I cry. It would be helpful if I could get the Bible.” said the 17-year-old who was waiting for her uncle At the Fort Bliss camp, she, too, was unable to speak to anyone about her case. “I did not receive a list of free legal service providers. “I haven’t spoken to a lawyer since I was here.”

In a welcome move last monthThe Biden administration memo expanded access to legal representation for unaccompanied minors. Children in Need of Defense (KIND), President Wendy Young He said Despite the “life and death stakes” they face, “year after year, the majority of unaccompanied children do not have lawyers. This must end now.” In late March, the Biden administration Also announced the policy Expedite the safe release of children from HHS custody. “If this is successfully implemented, it will have a significant impact on the number of children in detention,” he said. chirp Bridget Cambria, an immigration attorney and advocate for detained children.

The defenders were widely criticized The opening of the so-called flow facilities. under general pressure, Reverse the decision to reopen One such camp is in Homestead, Florida. “I have given credit to the Biden administration being credited with getting children off border patrol and reducing the number of children in shelters, but the fact that these conditions have persisted for months now in ’emergency flow shelters’ is not acceptable,” U.S. Immigration Council counselor Aaron Richlin Melnick tweeted about Reuters Report.

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