COVID-19 pandemic impacting migrant children asylum cases, attorneys say

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COVID-19 pandemic impacting migrant children asylum cases, attorneys say

More than 3,000 migrant children are housed in the migrant processing facility in the city of Donna, awaiting an appointment with an immigration judge.

Nelson Garcia Lobo, director of the Mennonite Social Action Committee, a humanitarian organization in Honduras, said large numbers of deported children, women and men were ill-treated while migrating to the US.

Garcia said many are arriving at the US border to seek asylum due to violence in their family or community.

“You have suffered abuse that most of us cannot fathom,” said immigration attorney Belia Pena.

She says the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for children to understand why they need to talk about their trauma, especially online during a video call with a lawyer.

It is a difficult process that only begins after the child is in the care of the Office for Refugees and Resettlement.