Website claims border children being held in the Valley

An immigration group released a report Friday stating foreign children were being held at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Detention Center in Staunton after illegally crossing over the border into the United States.

The report was released by NumbersUSA, a group that wants to reduce the amount of legal and illegal immigrants in the country.

The website hints that the children recently came from Central America and crossed over the border into Texas. Currently thousands of foreign children are overwhelming social services offices in Texas. Many of those children are being sent to other states once they are taken in.

Immigration attorney Eduardo Justo says the foreign children will now likely file for asylum.

According to the legal process, the children will now have to prove they came to America due to a credible fear of torture, prosecution, or suffering from the government. The fear could be related to their nationality, political affiliation, gender or a number of other issues that are protected under the U.S. Constitution.

Justo says because the children are young, it will be tough to convince legal authorities of their reason for crossing the border illegally.

"They have to establish that fear. He or she has to claim that (he or she) will be a victim of the events (he or she) claims as being part of their fear," he said. "They have a tough time in front of them. Most of them, without an attorney, won't be able to fill out the application. They will lose the case and they will not be successful."

Once the foreign children file for asylum, they will either be released from the juvenile facility and sent to a family member who lives in America, or remain at the detention center. Within 90 days, their case will be heard in court and a decision will be made as to whether they can stay in America or be deported.

Legal immigration processes, such as the ones that will take place with the children held in Staunton, will be paid for using federal dollars. Money will not come from the state or localities.

NumbersUSA reported that foreign children who crossed the border are also being held at youth centers in Bristow and Alexandria.


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