U.S. Border Patrol Agents Separate Children From Parents Who Are HIV+

With all the controversial news surrounding aslyum seekers trying to get into the United States and children being separated from their parents, it's bound to stay controversial for some time to come. It touches a lot of hot button issues that, depending on who you are, may or may not affect you. But it's not just immigration issues that's causing such separations between parent and child anymore.

At a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing, chief law enforcement officer of Customs and Border Protection Brian Hastings admitted to U.S. Border Patrol officials separating children from parents who were HIV+. It took some pushing and proding from Maryland Democrat lawmaker Jamie Raskin, but the officer eventully cme clean about the whole situation. Hastings' argument for doing this is that, according to so-called "guidance", HIV is a communicable disease that bars any and all immigrants from entering the U.S.

This particular issue had previously come to light earlier this month. It had come out that U.S. border officials had sepearated an HIV+ father from his three daughters- ages 14, 12 and 11 respectively. The father was deported back to his native Honduras depsite his daughters being allowed into the country. As of now, father and daughters have yet to be reunited.

via AlterNet

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The problem with Hastings' argument is the fact that it's based off dated information. It was true that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service had HIV+ status listed as a communicable disease. This made anyone with the disease unable to enter the U.S. But back in 2010, the same organization removed HIV+ status as a communicable disease to keep someone from coming into the country.

In response to the startling news, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has announced their intentions to  file a motion on this issue. It will be part of an ongoing lawsuit against the U.S. government’s existing family separation policy.

The government may not separate simply because a parent is HIV,”  ACLU's deputy director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project Lee Gelernt said. “We intend to raise that issue with the court as well as other issues, including the government taking children away because the parent committed a misdemeanor years ago.”

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