Two immigration narratives emerge

One side sees the country as safer without immigrants, and the incentives that compel them to bring children across the border. The other side sees hardship for children, and little evidence of danger from illegal immigrants.

YET, two-thirds of Americans, 5 governors (who called back their national guard from border patrol) and even the Pope agreed: we can’t separate children from their parents.

past policy

When families entered the U.S. without permission they were separated: adults went to one place to wait for criminal charges, and their children were sent to another facility.

Mostly, it wasn’t enforced, as pleas for asylum were considered first, and prioritized over criminal charges.

then, zero-tolerance

President Trump announced a “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. This meant, while previously (during Obama’s administration, for example) first-time offenders would be charged minimally, and then released (“catch and release”) in order to remain with their families, NOW, with “zero tolerance,” all offenders (first-time or otherwise) are criminally charged and separated.

The result? The number of children in border care-taking facilities blew up.

executive order

And, on June 20, Trump signed an executive order to keep families together while waiting for the courts to hear their cases.

The order disregards the Flores settlement. This Supreme Court ruling set standards for the care of minors in crossings cases at the border, including a number-of-days-in-custody limit of 20 days.

Trump’s executive order could result in children being detained for longer than 20 days—that’s the go-around for Trump. He will keep families together (by keeping kids in detainment with their parents), until a judge can rule on their case. This policy is likely to be overturned by the courts unless Congress legislates on it.

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