The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Saturday it had moved out all the migrant children in the controversial Homestead, Fla., shelter. Homestead was the last temporary influx shelter operating after the federal government emptied the others in July.
Between March 2018 and Saturday, the Homestead facility housed 14,300 children, according to HHS. Democratic presidential candidates visited the shelter in June to protest the poor, overcrowded conditions for migrant children.
In recent weeks, the number of children the government needs to house has decreased, giving agencies more flexibility. HHS said it moved the children at Homestead to a state-licensed shelter or placed them with their family or sponsor. Emptying the shelter also meant HHS had to fire 400 employees on Friday with 4,000 more expected to lose their jobs, according to the Miami Herald. —C.K.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr issued a decision July 29 that would restrict asylum claims for migrants who are persecuted because of their families. Asylum applicants need to prove they are persecuted in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Barr said that being part of a family only qualifies as a particular social group if it is “socially distinct in the eyes of its society.” The decision could affect people who claim persecution because a cartel or gang has targeted their family with violence.
This is not the first time the Trump administration has restricted asylum claims: In 2018, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions restricted access to asylum for victims of gang or domestic violence, but a federal judge later blocked parts of that decision. —C.K.