He also recalled that the United Nations has repeatedly pointed out the violation of international law by detaining minors for migration reasons.
In his opinion, illegal immigration should never be considered a crime and detention can only be regarded as a last recourse in the case of adults and never for children.
Gonzalez considered that the separation of children from their families, as well as the detention of children for immigration reasons, is very serious and violates international law.
I hope to visit these places and assess the situation of children in detention and of migrants in general, in order to publish a report on the matter and inform the Human Rights Council, he told the UN official news website.
The immigration detention of children is not justified; they are people who have not committed any crime and who are imprisoned, insisted the UN independent expert.
These detentions are a clear violation of children's rights and cause irreparable harm which could amount to torture, he warned.
Gonzalez also provided details of an earlier visit to juvenile detention centers in the United States during his time as a rapporteur at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
These are really very similar to the prisons where adults are held and are located far from the cities, which limits the provision of legal services and makes it difficult for consuls to visit children and check their conditions, he added.
About 3,000 children have been separated from their parents since April when they attempted to enter the United States illegally along the border with Mexico.
This occurred under the zero-tolerance policy against migrants, promoted by the current White House administration. The measure was suspended in mid-June, but the fate of many of the children in detention is still uncertain.
A U.S. federal magistrate ruled late last month that the U.S. administration should reunite families and gave 14 days to carry out the sentence in the case of children under five and 30 days for those over that age.
By the deadline on Wednesday, 38 out of 102 children under the age of five had been handed over to their parents.
According to press reports, the authorities have not handed over the remaining 64 due to the impossibility of verifying the relationship in time.
- Countries: United_States