Detained migrant children will no longer get education or attorneys

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The Trump administration announced Wednesday that it would be making extreme cuts to the budget for the detention centers housing migrant children, taking away education, recess, attorneys, and all extra-curricular activities.

According to the Associated Press, the Department of Health and Human Services notified child detention centers last week that they would no longer be reimbursing them for teachers pay, legal representation for the children, or any of the cost of extracurricular activities like soccer, art, or recess.

The administration claims this is necessary due to a budget shortage, but budget or not, the decision appears to violate the Flores Agreement, which requires that the government provide education and recreation to detained migrant children.

The Miami-Dade school district has assisted in teaching migrant children at nearby detention camps, and the superintendent is both angered and horrified by the news. “We have sunken to a new low that I didn’t think was possible in this country,” Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told the Miami Herald. “What next? Reduce food, water, and air?”

Speaking to the Associated Press, immigration attorney J.J. Mulligan said, “The kids are inside 23 hours, and the hour they spend outside is a real lifeline for them.” Now the children may not even get that single hour outside and instead will be forced to stay inside 24 hours a day with no schooling or entertainment to occupy their time.

Both elected officials and civilians are appalled by the announcement, with renewed comparisons of the detention centers to concentration camps.

“What are the children supposed to do? Will soccer balls and textbooks now be confiscated? How are these children expected to learn, grow, and function in society?” said Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell to the Miami Harold. As funding for attorney is being removed, it is not clear who will represent these migrant children, many of whom cannot speak English, and some as young as eight years old, in immigration proceedings.


H/T Miami Harold

Alex Dalbey

Alex Dalbey

Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.