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FEATURING SAIRA DRAPER – The Trump Administration is facing a broad class action lawsuit over its detention of immigrant children. The Southern Poverty Law Center filled the suit in January to address the fact that about 10,000 undocumented children are being held in detention and, it appears that the federal government is delaying their release in order to lure in sponsors to come forward. If sponsors are found to be undocumented themselves, they are often arrested and entered into deportation proceedings.

In its complaint, SPLC said, “As revealed by a recently leaked memorandum, the Trump administration decided to deter illegal immigration by enacting a policy to use detained immigrant children as bait to arrest immigrants who come forward to sponsor them, even while explicitly acknowledging that this would prolong the detention of immigrant children. To do this, they twisted the sponsorship process from its Congressionally mandated purpose of ensuring children’s safety while placing them in the least restrictive setting as quickly as possible, introducing steps counterproductive to that goal that were instead designed to facilitate civil immigration enforcement against sponsors.”

Saira Draper, Senior Staff Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

**This segment was originally broadcast on February 4, 2019.

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