The Trump regime’s latest immigration proposal is perhaps its cruelest yet for families with children.
A proposal being floated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would separate mothers and children who illegally cross the border together. According to Reuters, the new proposal would have the Department of Health and Human Services place undocumented children into protective custody while their parents remain in custody of DHS.
The policy would be in compliance with a July 2016 order issued by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that children must be released from federal detention as quickly as possible, though it didn’t stipulate that the parents’ release was required. President Obama’s DHS made it a policy to detain mothers and children for no more than three weeks at family detention centers before releasing them, though the Trump administration may decide to hold parents longer.
Between October 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017, more than 54,000 children and their adult guardians were caught on the border, which Reuters found was more than twice the number that crossed the border over the same time period a year before. DHS said the proposal is being considered as a means of deterring families from crossing as one unit in the future.
“The journey north is a dangerous one with too many situations where children – brought by parents, relatives or smugglers – are often exploited, abused or may even lose their lives,” a DHS spokesperson said in a written statement. “With safety in mind, the Department of Homeland Security continually explores options that may discourage those from even beginning the journey.”
However, advocates for undocumented immigrants say the proposal goes too far. National Immigration Law Center executive director Marielena Hincapie said separating mothers from their children at the border would “create lifelong psychological trauma.”
Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), whose district includes several hundred miles of the border between the U.S. and Mexico, said the DHS’ new proposal sends the wrong message.
“Bottom line: separating mothers and children is wrong,” Rep. Cuellar stated.
Jamie Green is a contributor for the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.