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Trump Plan Splits Immigrant Families

McAllen, Texas —(Map)

Children are being separated from their parents as families try to come into the US. Under President Donald Trump’s plan, all people trying to enter the US without permission are treated like criminals, and some of their children are being held in cages.

Government workers deal with immigrants in large buildings like this one in Texas.
Government workers deal with immigrants in large buildings like this one in Texas.
(Source: U.S. Customs and Border Control, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Immigrants are people who leave their own country to live in another one. People may try to come into the US for different reasons. Some people come because they are trying to get away from an unsafe situation in their own country. This is called “seeking asylum”. Other people may come because they are looking for work or a better life.

It is not against the law to try to come to the US, but it is against the law to try and sneak in. Even so, in the past, people who tried to sneak in for the first time were usually just sent back to their own country. Families that tried to come into the US without permission were kept together. Sometimes they would be sent back to their own country. Sometimes they were allowed to stay in the US until a judge could decide if they could stay forever.

Under Mr. Trump's "zero tolerance" plan, anyone trying to sneak into the US is treated as a criminal.
Under Mr. Trump’s “zero tolerance” plan, anyone trying to sneak into the US is treated as a criminal.
(Source: US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, via Wikimedia Commons.)

In April, Mr. Trump’s government said they had a new “zero tolerance” plan. Under that plan, anyone trying to sneak into the country would be treated like a criminal. If the person brought their children, the children would be taken away because they could not go to jail with their mom or dad.

In the last six weeks, the US government has taken more than 2,300 children away from their parents as they tried to come into the US. Many of the children were under four years old, and some were babies. Many of these families were trying to sneak into the country. Others were seeking asylum. Usually the children were taken away with no plans for getting them back together with their parents.

Children are being separated from parents who are trying to enter the US.
Children are being separated from parents who are trying to enter the US.
(Source: U.S. Customs and Border Control, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Earlier this week, people learned that the US government is keeping the children in large cages in a big building in Texas. Reporters were allowed to visit the building, but they could not take pictures. Instead, the government gave out a few pictures of the children inside the building. One person recorded the children. In the recording, the children were crying and calling for their parents.

The US government is keeping some of the children in large cages in a big building.
The US government is keeping some of the children in large cages in a big building.
(Source: U.S. Customs and Border Control, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Governments, leaders, and people around the world have complained. They have said that what Mr. Trump’s government is doing is not right and even breaks some laws.

Children are often separated from parents with no plans to get them back together.
Children are often separated from parents with no plans to get them back together.
(Source: U.S. Customs and Border Control, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Mr. Trump and the people working for him know that the program is not popular. They have changed the way they explain the program many times, often trying to blame other people for the idea. But so far, it does not seem like they are going to change their minds.

Mr. Trump often complains about immigrants. He wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico to keep immigrants out. Mr. Trump says he wants Congress to change the laws. Some people think that Mr. Trump is using the children to scare other immigrants away, and to try and get Congress to let him build his wall.

McAllen, Texas


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