Despite pictures of children being taken from their parents, playing nonstop on cable news outlets.
Despite key Republican’s from both the House and the Senate telling President Donald Trump to stop the policy.
Despite blaming the Democrats for a law that does not exist.
Despite the Republican’s being in charge of both the House, the Senate and the White House.
Despite three former First Ladies saying they felt the action was cruel and un-American.
The most important and final point – President Trump could with a call to the Department of Homeland Security and tell them to stop their “Zero Tolerance plan,” that is separating families.
President Donald Trump is using children as a wedge to get his wall built separating the United States from Mexico. Polls show that while most American’s think this is something that needs to stop now, 58 percent of Republicans polled liked the tough policy on immigration and that includes a small group of very Conservative members of Congress.
Trump supporters feel that the children are being taken from their parents lawfully. They feel that people who bring children with them to enter the country illegally should know they will be separated from those children. It is just the type of harsh deterrent policy Trump likes.
This is a policy that the Trump Administration, led by Senior White House Advisor Stephen Miller who crafted the newest version of the Zero Tolerance policy along with some help from White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly. Miller and Kelly were helped by Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions along with Kirstjen Nielsen the Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.
Today President Trump will make a trip to Capitol Hill where lawmakers have bills ready to go to firm up immigration loopholes. But none of that legislation is ready to fund a border wall.
But let’s be clear that this is not a law it is a policy that could be stopped at any time. According to fact-checking done by the Associated Press, There is no law mandating the separation of children and parents at the border.
The separations are a consequence of a Trump administration policy to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally. That means more adults are jailed, pending trial, so their children are removed from them. Before the policy, many people who were accused of illegal entry and did not have a criminal record were merely referred for civil deportation proceedings, which generally did not break up families.
The policy was announced April 6 and went into effect in May. From April 19 to May 31, 1,995 children were separated from 1,940 adults, according to Homeland Security statistics obtained by The Associated Press. The figures are for people who tried to enter the U.S. between official border crossings.
Trump’s repeated, but nonspecific references to a Democratic law appear to involve one enacted in 2008. It passed unanimously in Congress and was signed by Republican President George W. Bush. It was focused on freeing and otherwise helping children who come to the border without a parent or guardian. It does not call for family separation.
It should be noted that neither President George W. Bush nor President Barack Obama. Both men deported a large number of families but they felt that splitting families was going too far. President Bush put mothers and children in holding areas where kids wore orange jumpsuits looking like tiny criminals. The optics were so bad that Bush himself stopped the process and vowed to find a better way to handle the issue.
President Obama also struggled was criticized for the “catch and release,” and struggled with the policy that Bush left him. There is no hard and fast definition, but “catch and release” usually refers to U.S. immigration authorities’ practice of releasing unauthorized immigrants while they await immigration hearings, rather than keeping them in custody.
With some exceptions, only children and asylum-seekers are eligible for this kind of release. They often stay in the United States for months or years while their cases wind through the courts. Many of them do not show up for court dates and end up settling in the country without authorization.
There is no doubt that for decades there has been an immigrate issue that neither the Republicans nor Democrats have found common ground. Getting an immigration bill that is comprehensive through Congress is a very heavy lift with the 2018 Mid Term elections coming in November.
There is no doubt that we need strong immigration laws and working with Mexico to build a better law. Once that helps those who are seeking legal asylum can be processed in a fair manner that keeps families together.
VIDEO FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS