Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

First lady spokeswoman: Melania Trump 'hates to see' families separated at border

First lady spokeswoman: Melania Trump 'hates to see' families separated at border

The Trump administration's move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S. -Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress. There is a law against "improper entry" at the border, as well as a consent decree known as the Flores settlement that limits to 20 days the amount of time migrant children may be held in immigration detention, which a federal judge ruled in 2016 also applies to families.

Jennifer Podkul is director of policy at Kids in Need of Defence, which represents children in immigration court. Almost 2,000 children were removed from the care of their parents and taken into federal custody between April 19 and May 31, an immigration official said Friday.

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, said he was working on legislation that would end the practice of family separation.

Now, undocumented migrant adults are arrested and jailed, and their children are then classified as unaccompanied alien minors and taken away to separate facilities.

Immigration on the southwest border has remained high since the zero-tolerance policies took effect.

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In addition, Trump has routinely put the onus on the minority party to pass legislation ending the separations, for some reason exempting the Republican majorities from taking any action.

The other "loophole" the Trump administration points to is the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, or the TVPRA.

White House officials are unable to cite any part of USA law that dictates the separations, which were initiated in April after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced "zero tolerance" for unlawful border crossings.

Democrats have countered that no law requires the government to separate children from their parents.

In 2010, the then prime minister, Gordon Brown, expressed regret for the 50-year programme that saw 130,000 children from deprived backgrounds shipped to the colonies for a "better life".

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Many celebrities used their platforms to make their disproval of Donald Trump's policy known. "I mean, I hate to say it, that's the law and he's enforcing the law". In the past, families in this situation have typically been subject to civil deportation proceedings instead of criminal prosecution.

According to ABC News, more than two dozen of the largest religious groups in the US have asked the Trump administration to revoke the zero-tolerance policy and stop separating families. Even if the House did vote on and approve impeachment, a two-thirds super-majority of senators would have to convict the president for him to be removed from office, which has never occurred in USA history. But when it separates families at the border?

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.

A small number of reporters were given strictly controlled access earlier this week to one immigration detention centre where some children forcibly separated from their parents, or crossing the border alone, are being held. They are fleeing violence and persecution, and he doesn't see that changing even if the government deports parents. "I really try to look at the policy issues".

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