Immigrant
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by Joseph Iwata
| 4 Questions
Note from the author:
Read the article at least 2 times. Answer each question by putting the correct letter in the answer column

Immigrant kids face these hurdles when they arrive at U.S. border

By USA Today, adapted by Newsela staff Text Level 7 06/04/2018

After news reports revealed that the U.S. government couldn't account for the locations of nearly 1,500 immigrant children, some people wondered how this could happen and who was at fault.
The answer is complicated, as many things are with the federal government.
There are essentially three issues that have been mixed up in recent days. One issue is unaccompanied minors at the border. Another is separating children from their parents at the border. The third is families seeking asylum, which is different from regular immigration. It is for people moving to the U.S. to get away from problems like violence or discrimination in their home country. Asylum seekers can apply for asylum only once they are at the border or inside the U.S.

Did the Trump administration separate children from their parents at the border, then lose track of the children?

No, the 1,475 children arrived at the U.S. border alone, without their parents. Most of the children came from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, all countries in Central America. They were fleeing violence and uncertainty in their homelands.
The children are considered unaccompanied minors. Under U.S. law, they cannot be deported right away. They are placed with sponsors, who are typically close relatives such as parents, siblings or aunts and uncles who live in the United States. About 10 percent of the time, the minors are placed with people who aren't related to them.
Placing these children with sponsors is a rule that dates back to the administration of former President Barack Obama.
The government's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is in charge of placing the children with sponsors. Steven Wagner works for HHS. Although the government doesn't know where the children are, Wagner said the children are not "lost."
After a child is placed with a sponsor, Wagner said that child is no longer in the protective care of HHS, and the department is no longer "legally responsible."
"Out of an abundance of caution," he said, the agency tried to check in on thousands of children by calling their sponsors. In 1,475 cases, nobody picked up the phone.
He said many sponsors did not answer the phone because they were living in the country illegally and did not want to talk with federal agents. Wagner said that does not mean the children are missing or in danger.
"There's no reason to believe that anything has happened to the kids," he said. "If you call a friend and they don't answer the phone, you don't assume that they've been kidnapped."

Why the confusion? One reason: The administration's new zero tolerance policy

The administration of President Donald Trump announced in May that there would be a "zero tolerance" rule for families trying to cross the border illegally.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the government's top lawyer and law enforcement official. He said the government will take legal action against anybody who crosses the U.S. border illegally. He said that if adults bring children with them, the government will separate them from the children. "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border," he said.
The Trump administration insists that this is not a new rule. Children have been placed in foster care when their parents were criminally charged with crossing the border illegally.
Because of the "zero tolerance" rule, there are more separations happening. However, White House official Stephen Miller said on May 29 that the underlying rules have not changed.

The other reason: The Trump administration is cracking down on asylum seekers

People who present themselves at U.S. borders are allowed to claim asylum. The administration is taking a stronger position on this as part of President Trump's attempts to limit immigrants coming to the United States.
Sessions has railed against the asylum system, saying the system is abused by immigrants and "dirty immigration lawyers."
In many cases, the government denies asylum claims and treats those cases as criminal. This leads to more children being separated from their families.
On May 29, Trump officials said human smugglers abuse U.S. law on asylum, as well as rules on how to handle families crossing the border together.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit group that helps protect people's freedoms. The ACLU sued the administration in February on behalf of asylum seekers in California who had their children taken from them. A federal judge is likely to rule on that case in the coming weeks.

What does this have to do with the Obama administration?

The rules about placing unaccompanied minors with sponsors and separating children from their families were in place during administration of former President Barack Obama. The rules go back to the administration of former President George W. Bush.
Trump administration officials said it's time to change the laws. They say they want rules that allow families to stay together and face deportation together.
To do so, Miller said, Congress needs to pass laws to increase the number of centers where immigrants are held. That way families can be held together as they await deportation.
Miller said the root problem is at the border. It would be easier to solve other immigration problems if the United States solved the problems at the border, he said.
1
1
Many people have recently come to believe that the U.S. government lost track of almost 1,500 immigrant children.
Which answer choice BEST explains how the perspective of the Department of Health and Human Services is different?
Officials with HHS say that they have contacted most of the sponsors of those children in recent weeks, and are busy filing the paperwork to show this to the government.
Officials with HHS say that some sponsors have not updated the information they gave the department, but that does not mean that the children have been lost.
Officials with HHS say that they are not responsible for children after placing them with sponsors, and just because they could not contact them does not mean the children are lost.
Officials with HHS say that some children and their sponsors have not been located by the department, but the number is much smaller than the 1,500 reported earlier.
2
1
Read the following paragraph from the section "The other reason: The Trump administration is cracking down on asylum seekers."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit group that helps protect people's freedoms. The ACLU sued the administration in February on behalf of asylum seekers in California who had their children taken from them. A federal judge is likely to rule on that case in the coming weeks.
Why did the author include this paragraph in the article?
to emphasize that the zero- tolerance policy that has been in effect is likely to end in the coming weeks
to elaborate on the number of asylum-seekers in California whose children are missing
to illustrate that some groups disagree with the Trump administration's interpretation of the law
to introduce the role of the ACLU in helping to protect the freedoms of immigrants and asylum-seekers
3
1
How does Attorney General Jeff Sessions justify the new "zero tolerance" policy and crackdown on immigrants and asylum-seekers?
People should know better than to break or abuse the laws of the United States.
There are few people coming to the United States for immigration or asylum.
Laws have already been passed in Congress that make deportation easier on families.
The conditions in their homelands give them no reason to immigrate or seek asylum.
4
1
The Trump administration suggests that zero tolerance and separating children from their families is the best way to handle immigration.
Which selection shows that the government acknowledges a limitation to this claim?
Miller said the root problem is at the border. It would be easier to solve other immigration problems if the United States solved the problems at the border, he said.
The Trump administration insists that this is not a new rule. Children have been placed in foster care when their parents were criminally charged with crossing the border illegally.
The rules about placing unaccompanied minors with sponsors and separating children from their families were in place during administration of former President Barack Obama.
Trump administration officials said it's time to change the laws. They say they want rules that allow families to stay together and face deportation together.
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