Senator Diane Feinstein: "Protecting defenseless children is not an immigration 'loophole'"
Last week, the Washington Post published a powerful op-ed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on why we provide protections for unaccompanied immigrant children, and why these laws are not accidental loopholes but intended acts of basic human decency.
"I remember watching the nightly television news in the 1990s and seeing a 15-year-old Chinese girl trembling before a U.S. immigration judge. Despite having committed no crime, she was shackled and sobbing. She couldn’t speak English, and it was clear she had no understanding of what the judge was saying or what would happen to her.
"Her parents had sent her to the United States in the cargo hold of a container ship because she had been born in violation of China’s rigid family-planning laws — and was therefore denied citizenship, access to health care and education.
"By the time the girl appeared before the immigration judge, she had already been detained for eight months. Even more shocking: After she was granted political asylum, she was detained for four more months before she was released.
"This situation would not be allowed to occur today because Congress has enacted laws to provide basic humanitarian protections to unaccompanied immigrant children.
"The Trump administration recently reignited its attacks on these protections, with the president going so far as to call laws that protect helpless children 'loopholes.'"