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Information sharing raises red flag for immigrant advocates

People display signs at the Tornillo Port of Entry near El Paso, Texas, June 21, 2018, during a protest rally against the U.S. administration's now rescinded family separation policy.
People display signs at the Tornillo Port of Entry near El Paso, Texas, June 21, 2018, during a protest rally against the U.S. administration's now rescinded family separation policy.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Advocates are sounding the alarm about an agreement that calls for the agency charged with sheltering migrant children separated from their parents to give immigration officials details about any relative who might care for the children while their parents are detained.

The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement will provide immigration officials with the name, birth date, fingerprints and other information on the child’s sponsor. Immigrant advocates say they’re afraid the policy could discourage relatives not authorized to be in the country from taking in the children. 

“What we fear is that this new agreement will make it less likely that families will feel safe in coming forward to the Office of Refugee Resettlement to claim children that are in their custody,” said attorney Lindsay Toczylowski, who works with the separated families.