Washington Watch

Posted on: June 29th, 2018
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Trump Administration Could Hold up to 30,000 Immigrant Children by End of August

By August of this year, the push for strict immigration enforcement could culminate into the Trump administration holding up to 30,000 immigrant children after separating them from their parents. Within the last few weeks after implementing the practice of detaining immigrant children separately from their parents, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reportedly brought in an average of 250 children per week, a trend which is expected to continue over the next two months. If this average persists, the total number of children brought in by the Department of Health and Human Services will reach 18,500. When this is combined with the 11,500 children HHS is already holding, it is likely for the total to reach 30,000 by August.

Though the administration sees this zero-tolerance policy to eventually deter illegal immigrants from attempting entry, statistics from the southwestern border have indicated an increase in illegal immigration over the past few months. Current HHS practice requires the department to care for unaccompanied illegal immigrant children, in addition to now caring for those who are under the age of 18 whose adult companions are being prosecuted for illegal entry. However, family units arriving at ports of entry seeking asylum are not to be prosecuted, due to their attempted entry not being illegal. They are to be kept together as they go through the asylum process.

For more information, view the full article from the Washington Examiner.


Trump Administration Attributes Fault for Immigration Policy Deadlock to Democrats, Defends Family Separation Policy

The Trump administration asserted the responsibility for the zero-tolerance policy of separating child immigrants from their parents at the border lied with the Democrats for their refusal to cooperate with legislation aimed at reducing legal immigration. Calling the immigration issues the United States faces, “very strongly the Democrats’ fault,” Trump claimed the motivation for implementing the separation policy was the failure of the Democrats to agree to change the “horrible laws” that are currently in place. The administration has indicated that the policy’s purpose is to decrease the frequency of undocumented immigrants from attempting to cross the border into the country with their children. Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen also justified the position taken by the administration, stating that, “we have to do our job; we will not apologize for doing our job.” Though the administration has defended this separation policy, there has been no specific reference to a statute which dictates the separation policy the administration is practicing, except for one 1997 court settlement which addresses the treatment of immigrant children in federal custody.

Backlash surrounding the separation policy came from many varying sources, including strong criticism from former First Ladies. Laura Bush authored an op-ed in which she categorized the policy as, “cruel,” and, “immoral,” while Michelle Obama reacted to the op-ed by stating, “sometimes truth transcends party.” Even current First Lady, Milena Trump, who is also an immigrant, pleaded that her husband’s administration, “govern with heart.”

For more information, view the full article from Bloomberg.

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