Trump Backs Down on Separating Children from Parents at US-Mexico Border

U.S. President Donald Trump displays an executive order he signed that will end the practice of separating family members who are apprehended while illegally entering the United States. As Trump said yesterday, "We are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero-tolerance".

In April, Attorney-General Jeff Sessions adopted a "zero tolerance" approach to illegal border crossings at the US-Mexico border.

Mr Trump had defended the policy, saying he would not allow the USA to become a "migrant camp", but he had recognised the issue was a growing political problem, according to White House sources. It is also the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.

Hundreds of children have been sent to shelters in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday, while some parents have already been deported without their children.

"I am also deeply troubled to hear reports that the administration, in its haste to hold innocent children hostage in order to demand funds for a border wall, failed to plan appropriately to reunite these families following their separation", the Democrat said. "And border security will be equal, if not greater than previously".

Because of the callousness and ineptness of the Trump Reich, it's highly likely many children will never be reunited with their parents.

"Where else in the country do you get arrested and you get to stay with your kids?" It's been left out in the cold.

"We're not there yet, but we're working on it", she said.

Signing an executive order to reverse his own administration's practice would also be unnecessary since nearly everyone in Washington, apart from the President, agrees that he already has the power to end the separations any time he wants. "The only solution is for Congress to authorize detention and prompt removal for illegal families and minors", DHS Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton told Fox News.

"It is particularly galling that President Trump seeks to continue violating children's human rights to justify and gin up support for the anti-family language included in Speaker Ryan's anti-immigrant bill", she said.


Sixty-five-year-old Richard Klabechek of Oak Grove, Minnesota, who attended the president's rally Wednesday evening in Duluth, Minnesota, said he was unmoved by the audio of crying children, saying it was "the media playing the heartstrings of the public".

The order does not end the "zero-tolerance" policy that criminally prosecutes all adults caught crossing the border illegally.

There is no official policy for keeping parents in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody informed of where their children are, other than a 2017 directive, which provides guidance regarding undocumented parents "who have a direct interest in family court or child welfare proceedings in the United States".

The measure would also offer protections to another vulnerable group - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients - who are undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

What does the executive order do?

It is not clear what will happen if the administration is unable to secure an amendment to the Flores agreement. "We don't want children taken away from parents, but right now under the law, as we sit with these law makers, we only have two choices before us: number one, don't prosecute people who come into our country illegally".

Trump also ordered the Justice Department to expedite the adjudication of cases involving families with children when possible.

"I say that is a very cowardly response", Nielsen said.

The families are mostly from Central American countries. We need to embrace our legacy as a safe haven for the persecuted and stop subjecting bona-fide refugees to further trauma by locking them up while they pursue their lawful claims to relief, Tonello said.

  • Tracy Klein