Almost 2,000 children separated from adults at border

17 June, 2018, 02:16 | Author: Kim Reid
  • House Speaker Paul D. Ryan takes questions from reporters Wednesday following a closed-door GOP meeting on immigration

President Donald Trump has calculated that he will gain political leverage in congressional negotiations by continuing to enforce a policy he claims to hate - separating immigrant parents from their young children at the southern border, according to White House officials.

Trump had said in the interview with "Fox & Friends" Friday that he was looking at two House immigration bills, but that he "certainly wouldn't sign the more moderate one".

"The children can be taken care of quickly, beautifully, and immediately", President Trump said Friday. "That's why we need more clarity".

Both the conservative and compromise bills would provide money for Trump's long-sought border wall with Mexico.

When White House Chief Of Staff John Kelly quieted down on addressing family separation, the Department of Homeland Security began testing the approach last summer in certain areas in Texas.

Top congressional Republicans and White House aides struggled to understand Trump's comment.

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The discharge petition was an effort to bypass committee on another piece of immigration legislation. "They're claiming it addressed separations, but clearly, when you put that in a bill that funds a wall and won't get Democratic votes, they don't have a serious plan", said Rep. Marc Pocan, D-Wis. "I have to have that", Trump said.

"The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their terrible and cruel legislative agenda". Both would reduce legal migration, in part by denying visas for some relatives of United States residents and citizens who are living overseas, sometimes referred to as "chain migration".

Trump's comments came a day after protesters rallied across the nation against the separation policy.

"The policy now being enacted where children are being separated from their parents even when they're applying for asylum, we want that to stop", said Acosta.

More protests were planned Friday in a number of cities next week.

"The more and more I learn about it, the more and more mad and sad I become", said Julio Acosta, a volunteer with Families Belong Together.

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It is the Trump administration's decision this year to prosecute all unlawful immigrants as criminals that has forced the breakup of families; the children are removed when the parents are taken into federal custody. As part of this renewed dedication to prosecute all cases of unauthorized immigration, children are being taken from their parents, processed, and detained in contracted "shelters" across the USA, while parents are detained for prosecution instead of released. "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border", he said.

Immigrant advocacy groups denounced the policy, berating senior administration officials - some of whom were reduced to rueful apologies for a policy they said they could not justify - and telling Obama in late 2014 that he was turning his back on the most vulnerable people seeking refuge in the United States.

"Right now, we are in a circumstance where either we choose to enforce the law or we choose to ignore it", a DHS official said. "Having children does not give you immunity from arrest and prosecution".

She called the Trump administration's separation policy "barbaric", adding: "It has to stop".

In a six-week period from mid-April to the end of May, the Trump administration separated almost 2,000 children from their parents, the New York Times reported Friday.

A coalition of four rights groups and legal organizations submitted a complaint to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights - a body of the Organization of American States - asking it to "immediately stop a human rights and humanitarian crisis perpetrated by the USA government in the Texas-Mexico border".

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Nothing requires the Trump administration to keep families together while kids are detained. The folks might forget what the president said, but they'll remember how you voted.


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