Trump Again Falsely Blames Democrats for His Separation Policy

Clay Curtis
June 17, 2018

While speaking at the White House on Friday, President Donald Trump defended his administration amid criticism that it was separating immigrant families at the southern border.

The families were all separated so the parents could be criminally prosecuted, said a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, who declined to be named, on a call with reporters. The separations were not broken down by age, and included separations for illegal entry, immigration violations or possible criminal conduct by the adult.

On Thursday, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited a biblical verse to support the "zero tolerance" approach, and critics were quick to point out the same passage was once used to justify slavery.

The legislation backed by Republican moderates included a provision that would explicitly prohibit the Homeland Security Department from released children who cross with their parents to anyone other than a parent or legal guardian.

Since then, stories of weeping children torn from the arms of their frightened parents have emerged and the policy has been widely criticised by church groups, politicians on both sides of the aisle and children's advocates. A fresh battle in Congress is brewing, in part over this issue.

"The children can be taken care of quickly, beautifully, and immediately. The morality of it was clear - that's not who we are".

A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S. -Mexico border on June 12, 2018 in McAllen, Texas.

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The Trump administration argues that the Flores settlement means children must be separated from their parents because they can not be held in custody with their parents who face prosecution for crossing the border illegally.

Whereas angered protesters rallied at airports after Trump's first iteration of the Muslim-majority country travel ban, and internet users submitted public comments to the FCC supporting net neutrality, impeding the separation of families and holding the door open for vulnerable asylum-seeking immigrants feels far less actionable.

However, exceptions were made for adults with minors, as well as children and people who were ill.

Conditions in sometimes makeshift and overcrowded detention facilities were also in the spotlight four years ago when the Obama administration struggled to deal with an influx of unaccompanied minors.

President Trump insists that the separation policy is the result of a Democratic Party law, but that's not true. The president, his aides and congressional Republicans have given differing rationales for it: Sessions and Chief of Staff John Kelly said children were being taken away as a deterrent while Republicans in Congress recently said it's based on a 1997 court settlement regarding the treatment of immigrant children in federal custody. "Everything the "open borders lobby" is doing is encouraging that and endangering these children".

"We will be seeing as we have been seeing there's going to be a shift in that they still may be children, but they were probably accompanied by their parents when they were first entering the USA", said Luis Aranga of Catholic Charities.

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