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On flights, minors share space with unchecked adults, increasing their vulnerability to the virus.
About 400 migrant children were intercepted in the US/Mexican border and deported as a preventive measure to restrain COVID-19 from spreading. After this measure, the U.S. administration left minors unprotected from human traffic and prevents their legal guardians from caring for them.
Before the migration policy, unaided children received shelter and resources from the Department of Health and Human Services. The administrative body was also accountable for those who arrived at the border with a relative or legal guardian.
After COVID-19 spread into U.S. territory, Trump’s administration reinforced immigration policies under the argument of preventing virus dispersion, despite border closures implemented by receiving countries.
According to Frances Arroyo, a lawyer specializing in migration, Donald Trump's administration is using the coronavirus as an excuse for not providing resources and legal protection for minors. On the other hand, Arroyo explains that this quick deportation eliminates the possibility of the children having legal representation and a more detailed review of their case by a judge.
Due to the rapid deportations, the U.S. does not apply health protocols to children before sending them back. Also on flights, minors share space with unchecked adults, increasing their vulnerability to the virus.
As a consequence of this measure, neither the U.S. nor their origin nation offers guarantees to migrant children during the special circumstances due to COVID-19.