Humanitarian Crisis on the Border

Why are some people suggesting that we expedite deportation of children from Central America?

crisisonborderTexas Interfaith Center for Public Policy

Recently, some political leaders have called for “expediting deportations” in order to send a message to Central Americans that children who come to the U.S. will not be allowed to stay. Initially, the White House cited the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA) as the reason children could not be immediately deported. Since then, many have called for that provision to be changed.

Children are especially vulnerable. The protections of TVPRA Section 235 provide children with access to trained service providers as well as time and space for potential victims to feel safe. If enacted, proposals to “streamline” and “expedite” deportation procedures could lead to an increase in victims of human trafficking being sent back into dangerous situations.

The faith community has been working with policy makers for decades to create laws and programs that will protect and assist victims of human trafficking at the federal, state and local levels. Lawmakers need to resist the politics of the moment calling for a “quick fix,” and make sure we put adequate process and infrastructure in place so we do not risk returning vulnerable children to life threatening situations.

 

(The full story on our website includes what members of the Texas Congressional delegation are proposing about expedited deportation, as well as examples of child immigrants who were discovered to be victims of human trafficking. Read it here.)

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