As the Trump administration backtracks on the “zero-tolerance” policy that persecutes all migrants and separates families at the border, a number of migrants told the Texas Tribune that they were given an option to sign deportation papers to see their kids again. One of the detained migrant men, a 24-year-old going by the pseudonym Carols, said that he signed the papers out of “desperation” to see his 6-year-old daughter.
“I was told I would not be deported without my daughter … I signed it out of desperation… but the truth is I can’t go back to Honduras; I need help.”
Carlos is hoping that the deportation order that he signed, which is a voluntary deportation order, could be revoked. For parents, Carlos’ desperation is understandable. He had only spoken to his young daughter once since they were separated three weeks ago on June 21. Like other migrants seeking asylum, Carlos is hoping to escape the extreme violence in his home country.
The director of the Tahirih Justice Center, Anne Chandler, also says she heard of something similar for a migrant at the Livingston facility.
On the other hand, ICE is saying that the allegations cannot be looked into, because “It is unprofessional and unfair for a media outlet to publish such allegations without providing names, dates and locations so that these allegations can be properly researched.”
Although Trump signed an executive order to end the policy of separating parents from their children last Wednesday, the actual reuniting of all children with their parents is expected to take weeks, maybe even months. According to The Hill, officials have yet to release a timetable.
Meanwhile, if parents sign these deportation orders, they are effectively signing away their right to be considered for asylum in the United States. It’s unclear how many, if any, of these allegations are true. However, the idea of using the parents’ fear for their child’s safety to sign a voluntary deportation order is likely to come under increased scrutiny as people hear about the allegations.
The Trump administration has already been under fire for weeks for its zero-tolerance policy. Opponents to the policy include both Republicans and Democrats, many which have called the practice “inhumane,” and the U.N. also called for the end of the practice.
Although the zero-tolerance policy was put in place to be a sort of deterrent, the people who have forged ahead with the process are finding themselves in very difficult situations. The eventual outcome of the migrant issue remains to be seen.