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Marely traveled for 13 days with her mother from El Salvador toward the U.S.-Mexico border. But once they made it to a raft to cross the Rio Grande, the 12-year-old found out her mother wasn’t coming with her. Marely had to then turn herself in to Border Patrol agents in La Joya, Texas. Her mother is among many migrants sending their children to the U.S. alone because migrant families with older children are being rapidly expelled under a pandemic health rule. Meanwhile if unaccompanied children arrive alone, the Biden administration is allowing them to remain in the U.S. while they wait for their court cases. The Associated Press
In other national immigration news…
School Offers Education to Migrant Children in Tijuana
When migrant families are expelled by the U.S. under its current public health protocol, they often end up staying in Mexican shelters near the border. After all, many of those families traveled thousands of miles to escape violence and poverty at home. In the border town of Tijuana, a school was formed to serve children staying at the Templo Embajadores de Jesus shelter. PILAglobal, an education equity nonprofit, set up the Canyon Nest school last year to provide migrant children a sense of community and agency, as well as an education. The Nest currently teaches about 50 children from the crowded shelter. It hopes to soon expand to accommodate more students who are on a waitlist. San Diego Union-Tribune
Uncle and Nephew Traumatized After Being Separated at the Border
Days after Gerbert and his 4-year old nephew Jair arrived in Roma, Texas, Border Patrol separated the two. A Border Patrol agent told Gerbert that Jair would stay in a shelter while he had to go back to Mexico. He began to cry while saying goodbye to Jair, but the agent told him to not cry in front of his nephew because he needed him to be strong. Gerbert hasn’t seen Jair since, and said he doesn’t know if they’ll ever recover from the separation. U.S. immigration authorities have separated thousands of immigrant children from their families because the adults they were with weren’t their parents or legal guardians. BuzzFeed News
Former Border Patrol Agent Illegally Brought Woman into the U.S.
Former U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Rhonda Lee Walker admitted to bringing a Mexican woman into the U.S. illegally. Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery said Walker signed a plea deal in which she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to encourage a foreign national to enter the U.S. According to Lowery, Walker allowed the woman to cross the U.S.-Mexico border on Jan. 2 through the Laredo port of entry, using a coworker’s computer login information to scan the woman’s documents before entering the U.S. Walker allegedly wanted the woman to work as a nanny in her house. Walker allegedly lied to authorities in denying those claims and saying the woman was her biological aunt. The Hill
Government Left Migrant Children in Buses For 3 Days
Some unaccompanied migrant children were left in parked buses for more than three days as the government was transporting them to be reunited with family. An immigrant advocate said the children had no access to showers or a place to sleep under Department of Health and Human Services custody. An advocate for migrant children said Joel, a 15-year-old boy from Honduras, waited on one of the buses from Saturday to Wednesday. Joel was waiting to be transported to his family in Washington state. Cohen spoke with his family, who said staff only gave the children snacks and didn’t let them go outside. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said the department is investigating this situation. CNN