New York– Illegal immigration is a topic that has concerned many Americans for a long time. The GOP’s stance on immigration has always been, “it’s fine, as long as they come in through the proper channels.” This rhetoric is controversial as the “proper channels” have not always been convenient, fair, or even attainable for immigrants from certain regions. However, until, immigration policies slowly change, we all must comply. Compliance with immigration law applies to everyone, including migrant children.
However, migrant children seem to be infiltrating the U.S. at a higher rate than ever before. Republicans are furious about the matter, and charge the Biden administration with deliberately organizing secret “ghost” flights to transport migrants from the border to different U.S. states illegally.
At first glance, without the facts, it does look bad. But according to immigration experts, these flights are nothing new and are certainly not a secret. They are also in full compliance with immigration law. So why all the false outrage? Can we attribute it to ignorance about policy? Or is this an attempt by the GOP to place a bad seed in the public’s mind about the immigration debate?
Facts About Ghost Flights
When children and teenagers from Central America cross the border unaccompanied, the federal government is, by law, required to be responsible for them until they are reunited with a family member or sponsor. So the U.S. is already financially on the hook when it comes to undocumented, unaccompanied children.
Flights that host these undocumented minors don’t release details about the children on board to protect their safety- contrary to claims made by the GOP that the secrecy was duplicitous.
Rules concerning the treatment of migrant minors have been unchanged since 2008 when the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act was signed into law by George Bush.
Immigration Moving Forward
Finding a solution moving forward in regard to dealing with migrant children will prove difficult. Immigration reform and policy is a clear illustration of who we are as a society; it shows the world how we treat others who want to be a part of our culture, fabric, and local institutions. There may not be a clear-cut answer now, but in the meantime, children around the world, regardless of their origin or reason for their migration, should be treated the same. They have rights regardless of their undocumented status. It is one hundred percent legal for the U.S. government to assume responsibility for their care.
The United States assumes responsibility is one h is legal immigration.
Thumbnail Credits: Shutterstock
- Adelola Tinubu from Current Affairs Times interviewed Supervising Attorney Norma Avril from the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) via telephone.