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Children at border ineligible for amnesty, citizenship

WASHINGTON – A surge of unaccompanied children crossing the United States border in southwest Texas are not eligible for amnesty or a path to citizenship, and are being transferred to the custody of the federal Health and Human Services Department, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said at a news conference Thursday.

Johnson said the goal of the federal government is to act “in the best interest of the child,” but also emphasized that the children are subject to deportation. “Those who cross our borders today illegally, including children, are not eligible for an earned path to citizenship,” Johnson said. “Those apprehended at our border are priorities for removal. They are priorities for enforcement of our immigration laws regardless of age.”

If the minors aren’t sent home, they could be transferred to long-term foster care or reunited with family members, Johnson said. When asked whether undocumented parents living in the United States could claim children who already crossed the border and not face deportation, Johnson said children are frequently reunited with their parents, but did not clarify whether families are then deported.Full story.

What is the best case scenario for these children?

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Cindy Hval
Cindy Hval is a freelance columnist for the Voices neighborhood sections. Her Front Porch column appears twice a month in the Thursday Voice.