LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Nearly 100 children separated from migrant parents at the southern border in recent weeks under President Donald Trump's “zero tolerance” policy have reached the Greater Los Angeles region, local immigrant rights organizations said in remarks reported today.
Most of the children are 9 and younger and are housed in detention shelters or foster homes overseen by government-contracted shelters, the organizations said Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Few have been reunited with family or friends of family.
It is unclear what will happen to detained children and parents now that Trump has retreated from his 6-week-old practice of splitting families that illegally cross into the United States.
Immigrant advocates told The Times that Trump's hard-line policy, which separated about 2,300 children from their parents, has taken a heavy toll on Los Angeles, home to a vast Central American population.
“Los Angeles is the epicenter of immigration,” said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. “We object to the president's zero tolerance policy, not just because it's the right to do do, but because we suffer it in the flesh, more than any other urban center in the United States.”
Cabrera said legislators in many other states supporting Trump's immigration policies don't know firsthand how their decisions trickle down in diverse centers like Los Angeles.
Since 2014, when thousands of children began crossing the border alone because of violence in home countries, Los Angeles County has remained one of the top regions to receive unaccompanied kids. In fiscal year 2017, sponsors countywide received nearly 3,000 children, more than any other county in the country.
“So many of these kids are ultimately L.A.'s kids,” Lindsay Toczylowski, executive director of Immigrant Defenders Law Center, told The Times. “They belong to our families, to our communities.”
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