Over the past several weeks, the United States has seen a new wave of unaccompanied minors reaching the border in light of increased violence, poverty and food insecurity. President Biden announced he is sending the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the border as a “government-wide effort” to receive, shelter, and transfer unaccompanied children. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said a Border Patrol facility “is no place for a child. Our goal is to ensure that unaccompanied children are transferred to HHS as quickly as possible, consistent with legal requirements and in the best interest of the children.”
YR Media has been covering the border since President Trump’s "zero tolerance policy" began, criminally prosecuting undocumented immigrants for illegal entry and separating parents from their kids at the border.
In October of 2018, we spoke to James, who at that time of our interview was 14-years-old, came to the U.S. with his mother seeking asylum and was instead detained and separated for nine months. James was held in Chicago while his mom remained in Texas.
“I was being separated from my mom. I was a little worried because I didn’t know where I was going or where my mom was going. My mom wouldn’t say much because she cried most of the time. So she just said goodbye the last time we were together at the prison and said to take all my stuff because she didn’t know what was going to happen to her. I was scared because I didn’t know what was happening, what was going to happen. I have never been in a situation like this, being imprisoned for a long time.”
Read more of James’ story here