In The News

The Government Isn't Doing Anything to Reunite This Family It Broke Apart - VICE

By Meredith Hoffman

August 6, 2018

A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to do everything it can to reunify families separated at the border, but some children and parents remain trapped in different countries.

Ever since he was separated from his eight-year-old daughter almost three months ago, Miguel has been fighting to get her back. She calls him when she can—about once a week, though sometimes weeks pass when he hears nothing—from a shelter for unaccompanied minors in Miami, begging him to have her deported to their native Guatemala, where he was returned just days after they crossed the border into the US.

“She asks me, ‘Papa, how is my case going? I want to be back with you. I’m a child and I didn’t do anything,’ and she cries. I tell her she’ll be home soon, but I have no good answer,” Miguel told me on the phone, his voice trembling. “I’m desperate. Her mother is so upset she fainted. She’s said she’s going to commit suicide.” His daughter keeps asking why she is kept in “prison,” where she never knows if she’ll have the chance to communicate with her family.

Read more Share

Some parents, immigrant kids reunified in Miami, but feds ‘unlikely’ to meet deadline - Miami Herald

July 25, 2018

Read more Share

Para los abogados que representan a los niños inmigrantes, la tarea apenas comienza - El Nuevo Herald

25 de julio de 2018

Read more Share

For attorneys who represent migrant children, work is just beginning - Miami Herald

July 25, 2018

Read more Share

‘Scared to death’: Miami Haitians fear family separations if protected status expires - Miami Herald

July 24, 2018

Read more Share

"Me estaba desangrando": perdieron a sus bebés por presunta negligencia médica en centros de inmigración - Noticiero Univisión

Vilma Tarazona

July 23, 2018

Vea la entrevista aquí.

 

Share

After weeks apart, 4-year-old immigrant children in Miami-Dade reunited with parents - Miami Herald

BY MARTIN VASSOLO

July 10, 2018

A pair of 4-year-old children separated from their fathers at the U.S.-Mexico border and taken to a South Florida migrant shelter were returned to their parents Tuesday, a law firm representing the families told the Miami Herald.

The kids, a boy and girl from Honduras and Guatemala, were the first immigrant children in Florida to be returned to their parents following President Donald Trump’s short-lived “zero tolerance” immigration policy, said Jennifer Anzardo Valdes, the director of the Children’s Legal Program at Americans for Immigrant Justice.

"The children were successfully reunited. Families are doing great and very happy to be together," Valdes told the Herald in an email Tuesday evening.

The small children are among the more than 50 immigrant kids around the country under the age of 5 that the Trump administration said it would reunite with their parents by a Tuesday deadline imposed by California U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw last month. 

Read more Share

Meet the Women Defending Migrant Children on Our Border - InStyle

ROMY OLTUSKI 

July 9, 2018

When Michelle Brané visited the immigration processing center known as Ursula in McAllen, Texas, to monitor a group of migrant children being held there, she asked to see a 4-year-old girl on her list.

“I can’t find her,” an agent told her plainly.

Brané, who works with the Women's Refugee Commission to make sure facilities like Ursula are adhering to legal standards, says that the only person who could find the girl was a fellow detainee, a 16-year-old who had met the toddler three days earlier and been caring for her. “She would put this child to sleep and comfort her when she would cry. She changed this kid’s diaper,” said Brané. “No adult, no official in the facility, ever stepped in. All of this in a facility where they sleep on the floor, and the lights are on 24 hours a day.”

Read more Share

Zero Tolerance - The Orlando Times

By Jalessa Castillo

Due to the threat of drug cartels, extreme poverty, gang violence, and other safety concerns, tens of thousands of parents and children have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in recent years. Recently, former policies, the Trump administration, and other factors have led to a catastrophe that is the cause of over 2,300 children being separated from their parents.

It began in 2008 when Former-President George W. Bush signed a law calling for unaccompanied minors crossing the border to be released into the “least restrictive setting.”

By 2014, then-President Barack Obama faced an influx of children and families attempting to enter the U.S. His administration housed the families in special detention centers but since the arrangement violated an agreement that barred kids from jail-like settings, they were released pending notification of their next court date.

Following Trump’s election, now White House chief of staff, John Kelly, encouraged the separation of families as a way to discourage illegal border crossings.

Trump, along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, also insisted that people were purposefully traveling with children to ensure they weren’t jailed.

Read more Share

What’s happening with detained migrant children? A patchwork system makes it hard to find out. - Tampa Bay Times

By Alex Leary and Steve Bousquet 

June 29, 2018

Florida’s key role in the national detention system wasn’t publicly known until news broke in mid-June that more than 1,000 children were housed in a dorm-like former job training center in Homestead, including at least 70 kids who were taken from their families.

No one noticed.

Five months ago, the federal government sent an advisory to Gov. Rick Scott and Florida members of Congress: It was re-opening a shelter for "unaccompanied alien children" 35 miles south of Miami.

"There is no set date for UACs to arrive at the facility," a letter read, pledging "accountability and transparency for program operations."

The Homestead shelter, run by a private Florida contractor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has become a flash point in an uproar over President Donald Trump's immigration policy. Hundreds of migrant children sent there went unnoticed until they were joined by dozens more torn from their parents at the border in recent weeks.

The outcry over child separation has revealed a disturbing bigger picture. America's immigration enforcement system is a complex patchwork involving multiple federal agencies, local sheriffs, nonprofits and, increasingly, politically influential corporations like Florida-based GEO Group.

Read more Share

MAIN OFFICE
3000 Biscayne Blvd, Suite 400
Miami, FL 33137
T 305-573-1106
F 305-576-6273
E-Mail: info@aijustice.org

WASHINGTON D.C. OFFICE
10 G Street NE.
Suite 710
Washington, DC 20002
T 202-248-5080

About Us:

AI Justice is an award-winning non-profit law and advocacy firm that protects and promotes the basic human rights of immigrants. In Florida and on a national level, we champion the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children; advocate for survivors of trafficking and domestic violence; serve as a watchdog on immigration detention practices and policies; and speak for immigrant groups who have particular and compelling claims to justice.