A coalition of civil-liberties and immigrant-rights groups is demanding that the federal agency tasked with reuniting asylum-seeking children with relatives immediately stop sharing information with immigration authorities.
The groups say the information the agency gets from the children is being used to deport relatives and other potential sponsors.
The groups made a complaint in a letter Wednesday to the Health and Human Services and Homeland Security chiefs. The complaint is about the little-heralded role the refugee resettlement office assumed this year in an agreement between the departments.
Under the info-sharing pact, fingerprints and biographical data from would-be sponsors are fed into a Homeland Security database revamped to aid immigration verification.
Immigration officials say the pact is justified because it facilitated the arrest of 41 people for deportation over the summer.