Tuesday, September 21, 2021

OAS approves resolution condemning US family separation policy

Una camiseta colgada en una valla en el puente de acceso al control fronterizo entre México y EE.UU. en Matamoros (México) hoy, 29 de junio de 2018. México tiene previsto presentar ante el Consejo Permanente de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) una resolución para condenar la separación de familias inmigrantes en la frontera sur de Estados Unidos. EFE

Washington, Jun 29 (EFE).- The Organization of American States approved here Friday a Mexican-sponsored resolution that denounces US President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has led to the separation of hundreds of children from their parents.

The resolution, which was co-sponsored by the countries of Central America’s Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala – poor and violence-wracked countries that are the source of a large number of asylum seekers in the United States), surprisingly was approved by consensus, and without US opposition, during a session of the OAS’s Permanent Council.

But after it was approved, the US ambassador to the OAS, Carlos Trujillo, addressed the session to say his country welcomes legal immigrants but that it also has a sovereign right to defend its borders and set its own immigration policy.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in April that people who crossed the border without authorization would face criminal prosecution.

That zero tolerance approach represents a drastic change from past practice and has seen some 2,300 children taken from their parents and placed in shelters.

Trump last week signed an executive order to stop family separation, but the youngsters already sent to shelters remain there and in many cases the parents have no knowledge of their kids’ whereabouts.

Family separation at the border has spurred protests across the United States, notably at Border Patrol and detention facilities and at offices of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The resolution approved Friday said the policy violated the human rights of children and adolescents and urged the US to take the necessary steps to reunify children with their parents as soon as possible.