President Trump withdraws Migrant Family Separation Policy

June 22, 2018
Reversal of policy

Reversing his policy, US President Trump addressed the public pressure, and also signed an Executive Order which promises to keep the families together regarding migrant detentions. He was facing international fury over separating undocumented parents and children.

He stated that he was swayed by images of children far from their parents, jailed and prosecuted for crossing the border illegally. This is a decision to keep the families together.

President Trump withdraws Migrant Family Separation Policy

Between 5th May and 9th June 2018, US immigration officials have come up with the figure of 2,342 children separated from 2,206 parents. President also added that his administration will continue the zero tolerance policy of prosecuting any person who crosses the border illegally.

The executive order

The executive order calls for detaining the Immigrant families together in the time when their legal cases get the consideration. Additionally it will expedite immigration cases which involve families. Moreover it will Request the modification of a court rule which orders regarding the detention of immigrant children.

The president also acknowledged that his wife, and daughter, applied pressure to drop this policy and felt strongly regarding ending this practice.

Before this statement the president had stated that it was not possible to change this by using the Executive Order.  The House of Representatives will take up this matter for voting on the legislation to keep the families united. Presently there are no details on the bill, but it solves the issue of Dreamers, the undocumented adult migrants who made it to the US as children. In the past week the administration officials insisted they were following the case legally and their zero tolerance policy for border crossings resulted in taking the children away.

Mr Trump is unilaterally responsible

Critics stated that Mr Trump was unilaterally responsible for this situation that produced the painful accounts of children who had to live separately from their parents. They added that he can also fix it unilaterally. Presently the issue will move to the courts, and there will be a legal challenge to the decision of the administration. That is a politically friendly ground for Republicans, who face challenges of mid-term congress elections.

In April, the US Attorney General made an announcement regarding a zero-tolerance policy to charge and jail undocumented persons crossing the border, criminally. The children cannot be jailed legally with their parents, and so they were kept separately.  There were Pictures of children sleeping in fences and enclosures and there was an audio in which they cried. This provoked extensive criticism.

The previous US administrations summoned and released immigrants who crossed the border for the first time.

The sites from where authorities take children 

Holding cells, children are detained first at Customs and Border Protection facility where chain-link fences and enclosures exist. The children can be held there legally for three days.

Detention centers: They move the children to any of the 100 detention centers managed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The children have access to beds, classes and also games.

Additionally there are Tender age shelters where authorities take babies and toddlers. An official said that the border agents can decide detaining tender-age children, who are below five years in age.

For Family members the US law says that, the children must be released to stay with foster carers or relatives without any delay. this process generally takes two months.

Method of reuniting

Immigration and Customs Enforcement set up a hotline exclusively for parents to call after they seek release from custody.

The presidential order says that families can remain together in detention instead of children living separately from their parents. A court decision called the Flores agreement says that immigrant children can remain in custody only for 20 days. The order calls the justice department to modify the Flores Agreement and permit children to remain in custody for a longer period. Thus the Trump administration will face a legal battle with immigration activists.

The order has no details of a date or timeline regarding its implementation. Additionally it does not address the way for reuniting 2,000 children who are away from their families.

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