Families are still being separated at the border, months after “zero tolerance” was reversed.
Immigration lawyers say border agents are again removing children from their parents. The
explanation? They’re been protecting kids from criminal dads and moms. Immigration advocates
say it’s zero tolerance by another name.
Trump administration has quietly resumed separating immigrant families at the border, in
some cases using vague or unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing or minor violations against
the parents, including charges of illegally re-entering the country, as justification.
For this mean-spirited policy of separating children from their parents, immigration attorneys
have stated: It’s so disheartening… “this was supposed to be a policy that ended”.
On June 20, President Trump signed an executive order retreating from his so-called zero
tolerance immigration enforcement policy, which called on authorities to criminally prosecute
adults caught illegally crossing the border and separate them from any children they brought with
them. A week later, a federal judge, Dana M. Sabraw, issued an injunction against the separation
and ordered the government to put the thousands of affected families back together. However,
exempted cases in which the safety of the child was at risk, and crucially, imposed no standards
or oversight over the decisions. As a result, attorneys say, immigration officials – taking their
cues from an administration that has made it clear it still believes family separations are an
effective deterrent- they are using whatever justification they can find.
Lee Gelernt, the ACLU attorney who led the organization’s lawsuits against family separations
in the spring, said, “If the government is still secretly separating children, and is doing so based
on flimsy excuses, that would be patently unconstitutional, and we will be back in court.”
The ACLU and Catholic Charities have found documented evidence that the new separation of
children involve children between the ages of 2 and 17.
The ACLU in a recent lawsuit stated that the DHS has allowed the Border Patrol agents to make
decisions regarding families without any formal training in such sensitive matters. The
government had reported that more then 2,600 immigrant children had been separated under the
Zero Tolerance policy.
The government can’t document where these kids came from and weeks and months go by with
young children not knowing where their parents are and vice versa.
The bottom line: Trump’s mismanaged Zero-Tolerance policy is an illegal mess. The Border
Patrol and ICE have total discretion when it comes to separating children from their parents and
they don’t have to explain why.
For additional information call our office (386)586-6985
American Immigration Attorneys “We Can Help!”