Asylum

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Public outrage shamed the Trump administration into agreeing not to separate families at the border. Now a federal judge has put an end to most family separations and is calling for the families to be reunified. Since May, an estimated 2300 children have been taken away from their parents while trying to enter the country.

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In 2014, tens of thousands of families fled Central America to the U.S. in an attempt to escape gang violence. Since that period, asylum requests in the U.S. have increased, but asylum approvals are declining.

Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza speaking at a protest against the Trump administration’s immigration policies in Raleigh.
Laura Pellicer / WUNC

UPDATE: Immigration officials in Charlotte have delayed the deportation order for Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza until a federal appeals court renders a decision on his asylum case. 

Mexican-born Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza is asking for asylum in the United States. He says he faces harassment if he is forced to return to Mexico because he is openly gay. Last time he was in Mexico, Molina Mendoza says he and a former boyfriend were attacked with beer bottles because of their sexual orientation.

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Mental healthcare practices in the United States have changed quite a bit in the past two centuries. State hospitals and asylums once housed the great majority of mentally ill individuals, but definitions for what constituted mental illness were often vague and included conditions like epilepsy and PMS. In the 1950s and 60s, government officials pushed towards the deinstitutionalization of mental health care, and many individuals experiencing mental illness were released into the community.