Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

How family separation at the border works

How family separation at the border works

That will run up against a longstanding federal court decree that prohibits the government from holding children in detention for long periods - generally around 20 days.

The "zero tolerance" policy led to a spike in family separations in recent weeks, with more than 2,300 minors separated from their families at the border from May 5 through June 9, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

"When an alien enters or attempts to enter the country anywhere else, that alien has committed at least the crime of improper entry and is subject to a fine or imprisonment", the order said, adding that the administration's new policy will be to "maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources". The decision did not state parents must be released.

Perry was not at the meeting with Trump, but said he doubts the president's words will affect his position.

Trump is again placing blame on Democrats, asserting that "they won't give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation". "Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!" he wrote. Trump said Wednesday that he plans to sign an executive order ending the family separations.

President Donald Trump told a group of House Republicans he would back any immigration bill they passed, a White House spokesman said.

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Because any illegal border crossing is prosecuted, parents and children are separated during the legal process. In the order, the president also directs Attorney General Jeff Sessions to file a request in U.S. District Court in California to modify the Flores settlement so that the families could be detained together until their court dates.

He said he was looking into whether the court could block deportation of parents until they have been reunited with their children, and whether it could force the Trump administration to reunite those separated.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, pleaded with Republicans on the panel to "stand up" to Trump. It is child abuse-there is no way around it. Kids as young as 18 months are being held in custody away from their parents, with many showing signs of separation trauma that can cause irreparable harm.

The Trump administration says parents who present themselves at official ports of entry along the worldwide border and seek asylum won't be prosecuted and won't be separated from their kids. "That's why I am also joining my colleagues to call for Senate hearings on this issue as soon as possible so we can better understand what a lasting resolution could look like for these families and negate the detrimental impact to these children". "It's about keeping families together, while at the same time being sure we have a very powerful, very strong border", Trump said.

The compromise would limit, but not ban outright, family separations.

"Whether our families crossed the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we're only here because this country welcomed them in..." he said.

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Now, Trump says he will sign something to end the separation policy - though it's unclear whether housing families in detention centers will meet the standards for how children are supposed to be housed.

"This morning, Mr. Speaker, that innocent little child is crying in a cage", Lewis said.

Cruz's bill would double the number of federal immigration judges, authorize new temporary shelters to house migrant families and limit the processing of asylum cases to no more than 14 days - a goal immigrant advocates say would be hard to meet.

However, Republicans, who have a majority in both the upper and lower house, have signaled that they may not have sufficient votes to pass the legislation.

He reminded Americans that almost everyone in this country comes from somewhere else, and that those who were born into citizenship here should recognize how fortunate they are.

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