After having brought back to their families over 50 children alleged to have entered the US illegally, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry has focused its efforts on helping eight adolescents in a slightly different situation. The minors are reported to have been sent to shelters as they came to US territory unaccompanied by parents or guardians.
The teenagers are said to be in shelters in New York, Illinois, Texas, and Arizona. Their case may be covered by regular migration laws—not the Zero Tolerance policy that led to the separation of immigrant families.
Many teenagers approaching the age of majority attempt to move to the US by themselves or with relatives who are not their parents or guardians, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations said.
“Some minors are in US shelters for having entered the country illegally, though without a guardian. Consular agents visit the facilities on a regular basis to provide assistance and make sure they are given the proper care,” the note reads.
The Brazilian Foreign Minister argues that the situation facing the eight teens stems from the fact that US laws see it as an offense to attempt to enter the country illegally. For this reason, authorities advise travelers to check the requirements for entry and stay in another country.
Some 700 children and adolescents sons and daughters of immigrants considered illegal in the US are estimated to be in the country after being separated from their families as a result of the Zero Tolerance law.
In April, some 2.3 thousand children and adolescents whose immigrants are seen as illegal were taken to shelters without their relatives. The initiative rippled internationally. In Brazil, the government demanded that measures be taken and that family members should be reunited immediately.