Why are some migrant families forced to split at the U.S.-Mexico border?
North America;United States of America
Many migrant families that reach the U.S.-Mexico border are splitting up because of problems accessing and using a new U.S. government app meant to schedule and secure U.S. asylum appointments, according to advocates.
Some families who have endured the difficult journey across several nations together are finding themselves separated because of glitches in this app and difficulties scheduling appointments for multiple people at once.
In one case, a 15-year-old boy decided to turn himself in at the border after his pregnant mother could only secure a solo appointment, Reuters reports. He remains alone in U.S. custody.
A U.S. Department of Homeland spokesperson said they are working on the issues and are "committed to family unity".
Many migrants are finding that appointments are filled within minutes of being made available for the day. The app reportedly makes it easier to book individual appointments rather than booking slots for multiple people.
The app, called CBP One, is the only way for migrants to get an exemption from the Trump-era Title 42 law which forced migrants to wait in Mexico as their asylum applications were being processed.
The law is expected to be lifted in May 2023, after which the Biden administration expects at least 30,000 migrants to enter the country each month.