New Twists In The Child Separation Saga And Quiet Discharges Of Immigrant Soldiers Lead To New Immigration Worries
More than 40 known recruits have been discharged, and some of them weren't given a reason.
Questions persist following Trump's executive order ending the separation of migrant families at the U.S./Mexico border.
One distressing detail that has come to light is there may be more children separated than the 2,300 initially reported.
"Somewhere less than 3,000 [children] is the maximum," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on a conference call with reporters, according to Politico. "We are erring on the side of inclusion until we can rule any connection out."
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Azar also noted there may be about 100 children still in detention under the age of 5.
A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite all children under 5 by Tuesday, July 10, and all other minors by July 26.
Late Thursday, however, the administration stated it may not be able to make the deadline, according to app.com, citing the overwhelming work that needs to be done locating the children's families and unanswered questions concerning the judge's order.
"Defendants have dedicated immense resources and effort to reunifying families, and personnel at the highest levels of the agencies have been involved in implementing the Court’s directives," read a filing from the Department of Justice. "To fully implement these plans, however, Defendants may need clarification on or relief from... the Court's deadlines."
Adult immigrants who believed they were on a secure path to citizenship have also been learning in recent weeks they were mistaken in that belief, PBS NewsHour reports.
Serving in the U.S. military is one way immigrants can gain citizenship. However, the U.S. Army has been quietly discharging immigrant recruits.
Immigration attorneys say more than 40 members of the special immigrant recruitment program have been discharged. Some service members claim they were not given a reason why they were being discharged, while others said they were labeled as security risks.
“It was my dream to serve in the military,” said Brazilian reservist Lucas Calixto. “Since this country has been so good to me, I thought it was the least I could do to give back to my adopted country and serve in the United States military.”
Calixto filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army last week, alleging the Defense Department didn't give him a chance to defend himself or appeal the decision.
Pentagon spokespeople stated they are not able to provide comment on the reasons behind the discharges and refused to confirm any of the military branches' policy changes due to the pending litigation.
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