Separating immigrant families is a cruel means to a cruel end

22 June, 2018, 23:13 | Author: Donnie King
  • President Trump arrives for a meeting with House Republicans on Tuesday

President Donald Trump signed an order Wednesday stopping his administration's policy of separating children from their parents if they are caught illegally crossing the us border.

Former President Barack Obama weighed in on the family separation crisis Wednesday, calling on Americans to "find a way to welcome the refugee and the immigrant".

An earlier report from Fox News Channel said the Trump administration was considering an executive order that would allow immigrant families who cross the southern border illegally to stay together longer than is now permitted.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday during a White House press briefing, "We need Congress to fully fund our ability to hold families together through the immigration process". "But we do want to keep families together", he said.

Trump didn't immediately elaborate on the order during remarks in a meeting with United States lawmakers at the White House attended by the press.

"Basically you can only hold people for 20 days so it keeps the families together for at least that period of time while we hopefully get a legislative fix", said Representative Mark Meadows, chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, after the briefing.

Nielsen is working with the other agencies, including the Justice Department, Health and Human Services and the law enforcement agencies within Homeland Security on the proposed changes.

"As parents we refuse sit by while the government removes children from their parents at the USA border", the organizers said when they announced the event.




Donald J. Trump is not the first president to use cruelty to stem migration.

And daughter Ivanka Trump tweeted, "Thank you @POTUS for taking critical action ending family separation at our border".

Both House bills, which Democrats and immigration advocacy groups have blasted, would fund Trump's proposed wall on the US-Mexico border, as well as reduce legal migration, in part by denying visas for some relatives of US residents and citizens living overseas, sometimes called "chain migration".

Obama has been the one of the primary targets of blame from Republicans for the crisis that exploded last week after it was announced about 2,000 children had been separated from adults as part of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy.

Nielsen's action wouldn't end the zero tolerance policy, but would aim to keep families together and ask the Department of Defense to help house the detained families. "But because of a 1997 order and related decisions, children can not be detained for longer than 20 days with the adults", writes Fox News.

The children are classified as unaccompanied minors, a legal term generally used for children who cross the border alone and have a possible sponsor in the USA willing to care for them.

Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer said the Trump administration has been sending babies and young children to what they call "tender age facilities". Neither, though, did it require parents to be kept in detention, apart from their children.

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