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UN tells US to ‘immediately halt’ separation of families at border

The United Nations human rights office calls on the Trump administration Tuesday to “immediately halt” its accelerating policy of separating children from their parents after they cross the US border with Mexico, insisting there’s “nothing normal about detaining children.”

Ravina Shamdasani , a spokeswoman for the UN high commissioner for human rights, scolds the United States over the hundreds of children removed from parents who were jailed for entering the country illegally. She said that border control appears to take precedence over child protection and care in the US.

“The use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles,” Shamdasani says during a briefing in Geneva. “The child’s best interest should always come first.”

The Trump administration has adopted a new “zero tolerance” policy that has accelerated separations of children and their parents at the border. The policy, announced in April by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, directs authorities to prosecute all instances of illegal border crossings.

The issue has fanned a political debate in the United States ahead of midterm congressional elections in the fall.

— AP

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