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Special protections limited for some migrant children

For some migrant children entering the United States alone in states like Florida, special protections will no longer be available. This new policy means that some children will no longer get to make claims in front of a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum officer instead of an immigration judge. U.S. immigration authorities, under direction from the Trump Administration, continue to implement further restrictions on immigration in an effort to reduce the amount of people coming over the southern border.

USCIS stated that they are rescinding an Obama memo that extended special protections for migrant children even if they turned 18 or reunited with a parent. The Trump Administration considered this policy, among many others, to be a legal loophole that encouraged more children to cross the border. Trump has also threatened to implement tariffs on incoming Mexican goods if Mexico doesn't do more to reduce migration of people from Central America.

Thousands of unaccompanied migrant children are apprehended by immigration authorities every month along the southwest U.S. border with Mexico. Legal advocates for these children claim that it can be very difficult for migrant kids to file for asylum in a timely manner, and many children are so traumatized by their experiences that it can take them a long time to talk.

Individuals and families seeking asylum or other legal residency in the United States may benefit from help from an attorney. U.S. immigration law is very complicated and constantly changing, so going to court can be very confusing for children and other migrants with limited communication abilities. An attorney may advocate for their client's best interests by filing any necessary paperwork and arguing on their behalf in front of officers or judges.

Source: Reuters, "U.S. limits protections for some migrant children", Kristina Cooke, 05/31/2019

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