Taking Migrant Children From Parents Is Illegal, U.N. Tells U.S.
GENEVA — The Trump administration’s practice of separating children from migrant families entering the United States violates their rights and international law, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday, urging an immediate halt to the practice.
The administration angrily rejected what it called an ignorant attack by the United Nations human rights office and accused the global organization of hypocrisy.
The human rights office said it appeared that, as The New York Times revealed in April, United States authorities had separated several hundred children, including toddlers, from their parents or others claiming to be their family members, under a policy of criminally prosecuting undocumented people crossing the border.
That practice “amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, based in Geneva, told reporters.
Last month, the Trump administration announced a “zero tolerance” policy for illegal border crossings, saying that it would significantly increase criminal prosecutions of migrants. Officials acknowledged that putting more adults in jail would mean separating more children from their families. . .