Immigration officials threatening parents: If you want to see your children, agree to deportation
The Texas Tribune is now reporting that parents who crossed the border with their children are being pressured by government officials to sign voluntary deportation orders in order to be reunited with their children.
A Honduran man who spoke to The Texas Tribune Saturday estimated that 20 to 25 men who have been separated from their children are being housed at the IAH Polk County Secure Adult Detention Center, a privately-operated U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility for men located 75 miles outside Houston. He said the majority of those detainees had received the same offer of reunification in exchange for voluntary deportation.
[…] “I signed it out of desperation… but the truth is I can’t go back to Honduras; I need help.”
The use of separated, spirited-away children as bargaining chips in their parent’s asylum cases is perilously close to hostage-taking, and perilously close is the most charitable possible interpretation. That effort to deport asylum seekers regardless of the merit of their claims is, again, the transparent intent of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy targeting those refugees.