“Since April, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions unveiled a “zero-tolerance” policy, the government has routinely brought federal criminal charges against migrants apprehended crossing the border without authorization, including parents traveling with children. Parents went to jail while their children were dispersed to a vast network of shelters across the country for “unaccompanied minors.”
But on Wednesday…President Donald Trump signed an executive order effectively halting the family separations that his own administration had instituted.
The president’s about-face came after a firestorm of protest about the callousness and upheaval of separating 2,300 kids from their parents, but the shift brought fresh confusion of its own.
Overwhelmed courts dismissed cases. Migrants who had been apprehended as the order went into place still faced immigration proceedings, but avoided being separated. In the chaos, the numbers arriving quickly outstripped the capacity to detain families together. Agencies at the border began to process and release families with ankle monitors, much as they had before “zero-tolerance” went into effect.
Mothers, fathers and children boarded buses and planes to reunite with friends and family while their cases work their way through the system, which can take years.” (A)
“President Donald Trump has hit on a new exit strategy as he struggles to mitigate the most disorientating political crisis of his presidency: the splitting up of undocumented migrant families.
His obvious conclusion is that even though his hardline populism got him into the mess, only a more unfiltered dose of Trumpism will finally sweep it away.
Trump fired off some of his most raw and authoritarian tweets about immigration yet Sunday and is also cranking up his trade war rhetoric to solidify the safe space where he always returns when he’s in trouble: the embrace of his political base.
“We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country,” Trump wrote in a tweet that hammered undocumented migrants on Sunday.
“When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order,” he wrote.” (B)
“U.S. Border Patrol agents have stopped handing parents over to the Justice Department for prosecution when they are caught crossing the border illegally with their children, the head of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said Monday.
The statement by Commissioner Kevin McAleenan marked a significant, if temporary, step back from the “zero tolerance” policy that the Trump administration has pursued for the last two months, which has led to more than 2,000 children being taken from their parents. President Trump issued an order Wednesday to stop separating families.
“I directed the temporary suspension of prosecutions for families in that category while we work through a process … where we can maintain family unity while enforcing prosecution efforts,” McAleenan said…
His statement came as White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the government was starting to “run out of space” to house people apprehended crossing the border. “We’re simply out of resources,” Sanders said.
The country’s three family detention centers can house 3,326 immigrants, according to an April report by the Government Accountability Office. As of last week, they housed 2,623, according to a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE officials did not respond to requests for comment Monday…” (C)
“After failing to pass a conservative immigration bill last week, the House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a Republican-sponsored compromise bill that may not pass — and is almost certainly a nonstarter in the Senate even if it does.
The decision to push a broad immigration package gives lawmakers little time to address the immediate crisis of immigrant children separated from their parents at the border. Lawmakers are set to leave Thursday for a weeklong holiday break… “ (D)
(A) In the chaos of Trump’s policy reversal, families aren’t split but monitored, https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/immigration-border-crisis/lucky-ones-maria-her-son-crossed-border-perfect-moment-n886106
(B) After family separation crisis, Trump returns to his tried-and-true tactic: ratchet up the rhetoric, by Stephen Collinson, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/25/politics/trump-immigration-trade-rhetoric/index.html
(C) Border Patrol stops handing over most immigrant parents for prosecution, but won’t say when families will be reunified, by Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Jazmine Ulloa, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-family-separation-20180625-story.html
(D) House to vote on an immigration bill Wednesday, but it’s unlikely to help separated families at the border, by Sarah D. Wire, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-immigration-house-vote-20180626-story.html