During a six week span the Trump administration has separated more than 2,000 children from their parents at the border, according to the Department of Homeland Security. There is intense backlash over the handling of the asylum seekers coming to the southern border. The current policy is to prosecute as many people as possible and that results in splitting children from their parents.
Policy of Separation
The Trump administration has adopted a “zero tolerance” policy against illegal border crossings where families who are apprehended crossing the border without authorization are being separated so the adults can face prosecution. The President has claimed that the separation of families is not his fault but rather that of the Democrats who enacted the law under President Obama.
The Department of Justice has stated that the number of prosecutions has more than doubled since Attorney Jeff Sessions announced the changes to the policy back in May. However they are still far from the goal of universal prosecutions. Now family members won’t be exempted from facing criminal charges and separations along the border is going to continue. Here is a closer look at the crackdown at the border.
The Trump administration has faced a fury of criticism over the zero tolerance policy including from child care advocates and health care professionals. The US Commission on Civil Rights has issued a statement asking both the Secretary of Homeland Security and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop the policy of separation. They claim the policy raises concerns about coercive tactics and due process that may be used to pressure immigrants from applying for asylum.
What is the Law
Technically there is no law in place that requires the separation of families at the border. Illegal entry is a crime but previous administrations have avoided prosecuting adults who cross with their children. That doesn’t mean they won’t face future deportation but the family remains together. The policy is meant to deter other immigrants from illegal crossings and to gain some positioning with the democrats.
There are even Republicans in Congress who have opposed the separations, but they don’t offer a real solution to the migrant crisis happening at the southern border. Thus far the White House has blamed the Democrats for the violence that has come from illegal immigrants in the US. Hopefully there is a solution both parties can agree on that doesn’t leave thousand of children torn away from their mothers.