Democrats, activists rally against Trump's family separation policy

Blanche Robertson
June 18, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April ordered U.S. Attorneys to adopt a "zero tolerance" policy of criminally prosecuting everyone apprehended at the border, even migrants claiming asylum rights. But a backlash is mounting, fuelled by reports of children being taken from mothers and distraught toddlers and elementary school age children asking, through tears, when they can see their parents.

The administration wants to send a message, said a Republican critic of the policy, "that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you". "That's traumatizing to the children who are innocent victims, and it is contrary to our values in this country".

They did, however, decide to vastly expand the detention of immigrant families, opening new facilities along the border where women and young children were held for long periods while they awaited a chance to have their cases processed.

Asked repeatedly why Trump doesn't reverse the policy, Conway blamed Democrats for not authorizing funding to build more detention centers and said that children of undocumented immigrants were detained under former President Barack Obama. "And it's an effort to extort a bill to their liking in the Congress". Trump said in a morning post on Twitter. "Thanks Matt", she said, without elaborating.

Many Democrats have shied away from overly politicizing the situation at the border.

'President Trump could stop this policy with a phone call, ' he said.

In Pennsylvania, Rep. Lou Barletta, the Republican nominee against Democratic Sen. But there's no way the Senate will pass either one - indeed, not much chance the House will.

"Congrats, the separation policy that you sold to your boss Mr. Trump will result in images that will crater you both", Avenatti wrote before calling Miller out on his "fascist zeal". "He's put the full weight of his office behind it". Republicans announced that they planned to vote next week on a pair of immigration bills, but Democrats have indicated they are solidly opposed to both of those proposals.

"It's zero tolerance. I don't think you have to justify it", Bannon said.

2,000 children separated from families in immigration crackdown
Melania Trump said the United States needs to "govern with heart". "It was de facto open borders". The policy has had the effect of separating the arrested immigrants from their children.

But despite his calls for lawmakers to work together on immigration, Trump seemed to pour cold water on current attempts to draw up a centrist immigration bill.

Trump will meet with House Republicans next week to discuss the issue just days after his comments during an impromptu Fox News interview on the White House driveway almost derailed the planned House vote, according to a House GOP official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the plans ahead of an official announcement.

The Trump administration's practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the southern border has brought attention to a little-known government agency.

They have cited several "loopholes" in the law that they wish to close as a means to stop illegal immigration, and therefore remove the need for a zero-tolerance policy.

People have been detained and referred for criminal prosecution, but U.S. rules state that children are not allowed to be held with their parents because they have not been charged with a crime.

Despite the family separation issue being a decision made by the Trump administration, officials have falsely sought to cast it as a Democrat-created dilemma.

U.S. officials said on Friday that almost 2,000 children were separated from adults at the border between mid-April and the end of May.

Meanwhile, disturbing accounts of the trauma wrought by the family-separation policy keep flooding in.

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