Donald Trump attempts to blame Democrats for separating migrant families at the US border. This is nothing surprising, and POTUS will only become more vocal, and he will try to impose more restrictions on illegal immigration.
Trump tweeted recently, urging Democrats to change a “horrible law” according to which migrant families who come to the US illegally are separated at the border. However, such law doesn’t exist, and what caused the family separation are the policies of Trump’s administration and nothing else. Just in April, over 50,000 migrants who tried to enter the country were deemed “inadmissible” and the officials ordered to separate the children from the parents who did cross the border illegally and who are detained. More illegal migrants are expected as the warmer weather approaches.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, one of the rally organizers in San Antonio said: “I keep imagining somebody taking my kids from me. My kids are 2 and 4 years old, and that’s the age of some of the children that have been separated from their parents at the border. When a lot of people hear the story, they get a similar reaction. They can’t imagine why this would be a standard government practice.”
According to Trump’s critics, he uses the same tactics he did when he ended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Kevin Appleby, the senior director of international migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies, says: “He used DACA kids as a bargaining chip, and it didn’t work. So now he’s using vulnerable Central American families for his nativist agenda. It’s shameless.”
This situation could backfire on Trump, especially on the success he had after his November 2016 victory, where there was a visible drop in illegal migration. Because of the increased activities at the border, POTUS is privately frustrated, while the top officials are looking for a solution.
Current administration cooperated with a bunch of Southern states to put National Guard troops on the border. Meanwhile, more attorneys and judges are sent to the border by the Justice Department. However, the most drastic move is that the Department of Homeland Security is going to refer to Justice Department prosecutors all who cross the border illegally. Those fighting for the immigrant rights are against such decision because they believe migrants should be treated as asylum seekers. What this means is that tolerance has reduced to the minimum and the parents who arrive with their children will certainly be separated because it is against the law to keep the kids in criminal jails. As unaccompanied minors, the children will be placed in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions pointed out: “If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally. It’s not our fault that somebody does that.” Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in testimony: “If you’re a parent, or you’re a single person, or you happen to have a family, if you cross between the ports of entry, we will refer you for prosecution. You’ve broken U.S. law.”
It appears that the new policy has the immediate effect. Richard Hudson, the deputy chief of the operations program at Customs and Border Protection spoke at a Senate Judiciary Committee, claiming that the new “zero-tolerance” policy has been used for 639 adults. According to Hudson, the adults brought 658 children, and they have been separated. However, a DHS official claims that it is highly likely that the parents and the children are reunited if the parents are released from jail.
The administration stressed that migrants who arrive at a port of entry and seek asylum would not be separated unless they are smuggling something. Those migrants who come between official ports of entry are problematic and targeted. Trump is still not satisfied with the illegal migration. On Saturday, he tweeted: “Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the Border into the U.S. Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it, and we MUST continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS.”
The White House sided with the leader on this one, saying that “loopholes” existed in immigration policy and such loopholes caused family separation. With them closed, families will be deported back home together. One of these is the anti-trafficking law, which prevents unaccompanied children from any countries not named Canada or Mexico from being deported immediately. Instead of that, they are placed in HHS care as they wait for the hearing. However, a lot of the kids would not appear for the hearing, thus staying in the country.
“Sadly, Democrats openly oppose simple fixes to federal law that would stop the illegal migrant crisis and end the magnet for unlawful migration,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.
The Congress is controlled by Republicans and Trump has new demands, which he expressed in a tweet. This includes ending a visa lottery for people who come from countries with lower levels of migration to America and restricting family-based immigration laws. In other words, the US citizens will no longer be able to sponsor relatives from different countries such as parents or siblings, meaning that “chain migration” will be stopped.
Meanwhile, Republican Mark Meadows, one of Trump closest allies in Congress, questioned whether the parents who bring children are actually their parents. He expressed the concerns about human trafficking. Meadows told CBS’s Face the Nation: “We would have to address that. But I think conservatives and moderates, Democrats and Republicans all agree that keeping a family together is the best strategy, and it’s something we need to address and will address.”
Senator Marco Rubio was also on “Face the Nation,” and he urged tougher border security measures in order to send the message to the world. And the message is that the US would no longer accept illegal migrants.
“We have to understand a lot of these people that are crossing children are being trafficked here,” Rubio said. “They are being brought here by criminal groups that help guide them and often take advantage of them and brutalize them on the path toward the United States, and the ability to cross that border is a magnet that is drawing this behavior.”
Meanwhile, the Republicans are divided regarding the “dreamers and their citizenship path.” However, they all agree that border security measures need to be strengthened.
On a different note, this year, at the end of September, the funding for the deferral government will run dry. Donald Trump has threatened to shut down the federal government if money for the border wall is not provided and the Democrats are claiming over and over again that this is something that must not happen.
“The law does not require this inhumane and immoral action – DHS could stop it today. We do not need a law. This is a punt. They literally just ran this bad-faith play with DACA,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) tweeted Sunday. “They are going to use the suffering of children as political leverage for the wall, and we must refuse to participate because if this kind of hostage taking is ever successful, it will never stop.”