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    Trump Administration Won’t Routinely Separate Families At The Border After All

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    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Wednesday he is not planning to routinely split up children and mothers at the U.S.-Mexico border, after previously alarming immigrant advocates by suggesting such a policy would help deter illegal border crossings.

    Speaking before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Kelly said he would separate families apprehended at the border “only if the situation at that point in time requires it” ― for example, if a mother is sick or addicted to drugs. He said he “can’t imagine” doing it unless there is reason to believe a child is in danger.

    "Trauma on Trauma on Trauma": For Refugee Children, the Journey Is Only the Beginning

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    Adele's* 7-year-old daughter cries often. She cries at home and at school, whenever she thinks about the gang-perpetrated assassination she and her mother witnessed in their home country of El Salvador, and the death threats that soon followed. She also cries when she remembers the abuse inflicted on her mother by her mother's partner that, combined with the gang violence, caused her and her mother to flee to the US in May.

    "They wanted to kill me," Adele told Truthout, speaking through a translator, about why she chose to leave El Salvador with her child to seek asylum.

    Adele and her daughter were arrested at the border and were held for 45 days in the immigrant-family jail in Karnes City, Texas. Now, Adele worries the two of them will be reincarcerated, or be deported back to El Salvador. She worries more about her daughter's constant fear of the same. Even if they aren't deported, she worries that the trauma and fear that her young daughter has experienced will haunt her for the rest of her life.

    Democratic House Members Hold Forum on Impact of Trump Immigration Policies on Children and Families

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    This afternoon, Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), the Co-Chairs of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform, held an immigration forum at the U.S. Capitol to discuss the impact of Trump Administration immigration policies on children and families.  The forum placed particular focus on the harm of separating children from their parents, whether those separations occur at the U.S. border or within the United States itself.

    Inside Trump's Border Crackdown on Women and Kids

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    Despite President Donald Trump's dire warnings of "bad hombres" and drugs flooding into the United States from Mexico, the most urgent issue along the border has been the influx of Central American families and unaccompanied children, many of whom are fleeing gang-fueled violence in their home countries. And the latest statistics from the border show that one of the main goals of the White House's immigration crackdown is being realized: targeting and deterring these asylum seekers from heading to the United States in the first place.

    Stranded in Greece, Women Refugees Live With Fear and Hunger

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    As Germany starts sending newly arrived refugees back to Greece, we speak to Marcy Hersh of the Women’s Refugee Commission about the tens of thousands of women refugees stuck in Greek detention centers, suffering from violence, unsanitary conditions and food shortages. 

    It’s been almost a year since border closures and a controversial European Union deal with Turkey shut out refugees fleeing to Germany and Scandinavia. Today, more than 60,000 refugees remain stranded in Greece and other parts of Eastern Europe – almost half of them women. Many of them had hoped to reunify with male family members who had traveled ahead, making the harrowing journey across Europe.

    Undocumented Parents Could Be Separated From Their Children at the Border

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    Earlier this week, secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly told CNN that the United States is considering separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents if they show up to the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization, as a way to deter border crossings. This proposal to separate families was quickly met with sharp criticism, condemned by UNICEF as "cruel and traumatic," and described by Mexican foreign minister Luis Videgaray as "an attack against the integrity of the fundamental unit of social life that is family," The Hill reports. 

    Immigrant Families Are Separated At US Border As Form Of Punishment, Groups Say

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    The Trump administration has said it considering separating illegal immigrant families at the border as a deterrent, but authors of a new report say agents are already engaged in the practice as a form of punishment.

    The women detainees who are invisible every day

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    People across the United States marked International Women’s Day on Wednesday as a day of action to recognize the sacrifices made by women and those who have been marginalized by society. But one group who did not show up at rallies or protests across the country were the female immigrant detainees who are consistently denied dignity and do not enjoy adequate rights.

    Protecting Women Refugees as Part of International Women’s Day

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    International Women’s Day, is a global celebration of women everywhere. It is a rallying call—both for reflection on how far we’ve come, and for accelerating momentum towards gender equality. Core to achieving our agenda is the prevention of all forms of violence against women. Despite notable progress over the decades, thousands of women have recently been dealt a serious and potentially deadly setback: The women who are refugees and asylum seekers looking to the U.S. for safety and protection.

    Homeland Security’s plan to break up families would have terrible consequences for kids

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    U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly confirmed Monday that his agency plans to separate Central American children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, to serve as a deterrent for future border-crossers.

    Children Will Continue to Flee Danger, Expert Says

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    In all her years working with Unaccompanied Alien Children, one interaction in particular stands out for Michelle Brané, the director of migrant rights and justice for the Women’s Refugee Commission. She was interviewing a young boy from Central America (she no longer remembers the country). He had fled to the U.S. seeking asylum. She never forgot what he said during the interview. He looked at her and said, “In my country, it’s a crime to be young.”

    These Are Children, Not Bad Hombres

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    Last year 7-year-old Kendra Cruz Garcia and her 10-year-old-brother, Roberto Guardado Cruz, crossed the Rio Grande alone. When their tiny boat reached the shore, they started walking into Texas.

    The Border Patrol agents who soon caught the Salvadoran siblings deemed them “unaccompanied” because no parent was with them. Children with this designation are granted special, well-deserved protections.

    They aren’t subject to quick deportation and are entitled to a full hearing before an immigration judge. They can’t be held for long periods in immigration jails. Instead, they are transferred to child-friendly shelters operated by Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, and released, usually within a month, to a parent, relative or sponsor while their court hearings proceed. Instead of facing cross-examination by adversarial prosecutors, children are interviewed by an asylum officer trained to gently probe whether they qualify to stay in the country legally.

    In other words, they are treated with kindness and decency by our government because they are innocent children.

    Why President Trump's Immigration Plan Could Tear Families Apart

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    Most people may have missed the story of an Arizona mother who was deported and forced to leave behind her two U.S.-born children earlier this month, but it sent ripples of fear across the country and drove many immigrant families underground. Teachers quickly grew worried that immigrant kids were no longer showing up to school. Lawyers noticed that fewer families were appearing for their court dates.

    President Donald Trump’s immigration plan is already taking a heavy toll on undocumented immigrants across the country, particularly for parents looking out for their loved ones. Not only do the administration’s actions threaten to tear up families, but new directives have been designed to actively punish undocumented parents for their efforts to provide for their children.

    DHS memo proposed using up to 100,000 Guard troops to round up immigrants

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    An internal Department of Homeland Security memo from last month proposed calling up as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up undocumented immigrants, an agency official said Friday. But DHS spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said the memo, dated Jan. 25, was an early draft document that was not seriously considered.

    How Trump’s Executive Order Harms Women Refugees

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    In the midst of the uproar over President Trump’s executive order (EO), entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” an important element missing from the debate is the disproportionate impact it will have on women. While the federal government provides limited data on women refugees, the State Department reported that in fiscal year 2016, over 72 percent of refugees resettled in the U.S. were women and children. 

    About A Boy: One Refugee’s Tale About Being Barred From The U.S.

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    Imagine a boy, 13 or 14, dashing home from school, his mother there to greet him and give him a quick snack before he rushes back out to kick the soccer ball with his friends in the dusty street. Like most boys that age, he spends the requisite time on school work but lives for those precious hours after school and before dinner to spend with his friends. His body is changing. His interests are evolving. His world is full of possibility.

    Family of Woman lecture returns to nexStage

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    One of the mainstays of the Family of Woman Film Festival, the Bonnie Curran Memorial Lecture for the Health and Dignity of Women, will return this year on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the nexStage Theatre on Main Street in Ketchum.

    This year’s keynote speaker will be Sarah Costa, executive director of the Women’s Refugee Commission. With more than 25 years of experience in the fields of women’s rights, reproductive health and gender and youth development, as well as global philanthropy, Costa’s mission at the Women’s Refugee Commission is to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis.

    Advocating for the Disabled

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    More than 50 million refugees live in the world today, and the World Health Organization estimates there are several million people with disabilities among them. About half of the world’s 65 million children with disabilities do not attend school. Fortunately, the problem has not gone unnoticed. Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the wellbeing of all is included in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. And thankfully, organizations like Disability Rights International, the Women’s Refugee Commission and Handicap International are advocating for the disabled on a global scale.

    How President Trump’s entry ban rattled an Iranian-American immigration lawyer

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    President Trump’s order barring travellers from seven predominantly Muslim nations has led to detentions at US airports. An Iranian-American lawyer told DW how the ban personally affected her. Unlike many of the executive orders President Donald Trump's signed in his first week in office, the one titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" had immediate repercussions in the US and around the world.

    Trump shuts nation's door to most refugees

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    President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that temporarily would halt the nation’s refugee program and usher in the most sweeping changes in more than 40 years to how the U.S. welcomes the world’s most vulnerable people. The order would block all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days and suspend the acceptance of refugees from war-torn Syria indefinitely. “We want to ensure that we are not letting into our country the very threats that our soldiers are fighting overseas,” Trump said after swearing in new Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon.