Congress goes on vacation again without addressing immigrant family separation
“The House rejected the GOP’s compromise immigration measure Wednesday following weeks of negotiations and a last-minute endorsement from President Donald Trump.
Lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected the bill in a 121-301 vote, falling short of the roughly 218 votes needed to pass. No Democrats voted in favor of the bill.
While 121 Republicans voted in favor of the bill, 112 Republicans voted against it even after the president called on them to support the measure this morning. A number of those who opposed the legislation are members of the conservative Freedom Caucus…
The compromise bill would have provided nearly $25 billion in funding for Trump’s border wall, limited legal and illegal immigration, provided protection from deportation and a path to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers, and keep undocumented families together who had crossed the border if the parents were facing prosecution.” (A)
“The government was separating migrant parents from their kids for months prior to the official introduction of zero tolerance, running what a U.S. official called a “pilot program” for widespread prosecutions in Texas, but apparently did not create a clear system for parents to track or reunite with their kids…
A DHS official told NBC News that the practice of dividing parents and kids predates the Trump presidency. “DHS has continued a long-standing policy by the previous administration,” said the official, listing risk to the child and criminal prosecution of the parent as among the reasons for separation…
The idea of separating migrant children from their mothers was discussed during the earliest days of the administration as a way to deter asylum-seekers, according to notes from an asylum officers’ meeting.” (B)
“… The past few weeks in the family separation crisis, which led on Tuesday to a District Court judge in California ordering the Trump administration to cease the practice and immediately reunite separated families, should mark a clarifying moment for the citizens of this country…
This is just an order, though. We have to see how the Trump administration responds to it. Given recent history—the government has been waging a bitter campaign to defend its child separation practice and avoid family reunification—it seems as though this president will try to get away with anything he can. Further, reunification may be nearly impossible in some cases—as the judge noted, there have been reports of parents being deported without their children, and the government has taken many infants who may not even be able to say their parents’ names.
In the midst of this crisis, the congressional majority has wholly abdicated its constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight of the Trump administration; its failure to hold emergency hearings is the point of abject disaster. That these crimes against humanity didn’t prompt Congress to act tells us nothing ever will. Only a dead heart is unstirred by the intentional infliction of suffering on children and babies as a weapon of deterrence.” (C)
“Congress members have left town for a week-long Fourth of July recess without taking action to stop the continuing crisis of family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.
House and Senate leaders had expressed hope that Congress could act quickly this week to pass a narrow bill that would allow migrant children to remain with their parents at detention centers beyond the current 20-day limit. At least five bills have been offered so far, but lawmakers have been unable to unite around any one of them.
Both chambers adjourned Thursday without a solution. They will return on July 9.” (D)
(A) House overwhelmingly rejects compromise immigration bill despite Trump support, by Rebecca Shabad, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/reversing-course-last-minute-trump-calls-house-gop-pass-immigration-n886916
(B) Trump admin ran ‘pilot program’ for separating migrant families in 2017, by Lisa Riordan Seville and Hannah Rappleye, https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/immigration-border-crisis/trump-admin-ran-pilot-program-separating-migrant-families-2017-n887616
(C) Will President Trump Ignore the Court Order Against His Lawless Family Separation Policy?, by WALTER M. SHAUB JR., https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/will-president-trump-ignore-the-court-order-against-his-family-separation-policy.html
(D) Congress leaves town without voting on fix to stop family separations at border, by Erin Kelly, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/06/29/congress-leaves-town-without-voting-fix-stop-family-separations/745304002/