Advocates say US still separates migrant families needlessly
By NOMAAN MERCHANT
HOUSTON (AP) - Advocates and members of Congress are questioning the treatment of children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border with relatives other than their parents.
The Texas Civil Rights Project released a report Thursday that counts 272 separations at a single Texas courthouse since June, when President Donald Trump issued an executive order that ended widespread family separations amid public outrage.
The group says 38 separations involved a parent or legal guardian, the majority of whom had criminal records. Most of the rest involved another adult relative.
U.S. immigration authorities say that under anti-trafficking law, a child crossing the border without a parent or legal guardian must be considered "unaccompanied," even if the adult with them is a relative.
Unaccompanied children and teenagers from Central America are generally sent to government facilities, while the adults could face detention and prosecution for illegally entering the U.S.
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