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Published on 11/19/2015
In the US, Eight Brazilian Children Have Been Separated from Their Parents
06/20/2018 - 10h28
ESTELITA HASS CARAZZAI
Brazilian Maria de Bastos moved to the US with her grandson, but now she can only speak to him over the phone once a week.
She was separated from her 16-year-old grandson - who is autistic and has suffered from various epileptic seizures - upon crossing the border and requesting asylum. Even though the request was granted at first, she was later detained and the 16-year-old was sent to a detention center 3,500 miles away.
At least eight other Brazilian children were separated from their parents upon crossing the border, the Brazilian consulate has said.
|Immigrant children now housed in a tent encampment under the new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration are shown walking in single file at the facility near the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S.|
The numbers were collected over the past six weeks, meaning they go back to when the Trump administration began implementing its zero-tolerance immigration policy.
In the past, cases such as these would take place approximately two or three times a year, but now they've reached the mark of approximately 4 cases a month.
Brazilian children are being detained in centers in California and in Arizona. They are between the ages of 6 and 17 years old. They arrived in the United States either with their parents or their legal guardians and were prosecuted for illegal entry at the border and sent to federal prisons - something that hadn't happened prior to Trump. Children are prohibited from being held in such institutions so they get sent to detention centers instead.
In the cases that the consulate has gotten involved in, the mothers of the children are either being detained in Texas or in New Mexico, approximately 500 kilometers away from their children. Many were unaware of their children's whereabouts for several weeks.
The consulate has taken action to try and bring family members together again, but no such encounters have taken place yet. The consulate will decide what its course of action will be on a case by case basis.
Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON
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