The Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy on immigration has, until now, led to around 2,000 children being separated from their families.
Under Trump’s rules and enforcement laws, every migrant who crosses the border illegally, even those seeking asylum from gang warfare and poverty, is subject to criminal prosecution.
This has meant that children, who are not allowed to be held in a federal jail, are often taken from their parents and placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), The Guardian reports.
However, up until now, Trump has refused to stop the cruel procedure, blaming it instead on the Democrats’ law.
The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda. Any Immigration Bill MUST HAVE full funding for the Wall, end Catch & Release, Visa Lottery and Chain, and go to Merit Based Immigration. Go for it! WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018
As the crisis came to a head this week, Trump swiftly changed his stance, and signed an executive order to stop family separations. Instead, families will be detained together indefinitely, according to VT.
Apparently, it was Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who persuaded him to change his mind, despite staying fairly quiet about the whole issue up until yesterday, (June 20).
After Trump signed the executive order, Ivanka tweeted:
Thank you @POTUS for taking critical action ending family separation at our border. Congress must now act + find a lasting solution that is consistent with our shared values; the same values that so many come here seeking as they endeavor to create a better life for their families
Thank you @POTUS for taking critical action ending family separation at our border. Congress must now act + find a lasting solution that is consistent with our shared values;the same values that so many come here seeking as they endeavor to create a better life for their families
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 20, 2018
While the Trump administration, and family, are happy to jump on anything that looks like good news for them, Twitter users were quick to point out the hypocrisy within the order.
One person said:
He created the separation to begin with!! Ridiculous!!! You don’t thank an arsonist for putting out the fire he started.
He created the separation to begin with!! Ridiculous!!! You don’t thank an arsonist for putting out the fire he started. ?
— Kristen Burger (@kwill80) June 20, 2018
While another wrote:
YOU DON’T THANK THE KIDNAPPER FOR RELEASING THE HOSTAGES
YOU DON’T THANK THE KIDNAPPER FOR RELEASING THE HOSTAGES https://t.co/ecLSmuiidc
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) June 20, 2018
It goes on:
"Thank you, Daddy, for not acting like Satan for a few minutes. You're my hero." https://t.co/wQztUt2VQh
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) June 20, 2018
Thank you for ending the horror that he started? Thank you for proving he was a liar when he said that only Congress could stop this? Thank you for signing an order that won’t stand up in court? What exactly should we thank him for, @IvankaTrump? https://t.co/Nj4lcWknqF
— Bill Prady (@billprady) June 20, 2018
As Politifact points out, while previous administrations did lead to some family separations, they were ‘relatively rare, and nowhere near the rate of the Trump administration.’
Peter Margulies, immigration law and national security law professor at Roger Williams University, said:
Obama generally refrained from prosecution in cases involving adults who crossed the border with their kids.
In contrast, the current administration has chosen to prosecute adult border-crossers, even when they have kids. That’s a choice — one fundamentally different from the choice made by both Obama and previous presidents of both parties.
David Fitzgerald, co-director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, said:
The family separations are not the small-scale collateral consequences of a border policy, but rather, a deliberate initiative.
The responses to Ivanka’s tweet continued:
"Shared values?" What values do we share, Ivanka?
When I see injustice, I speak up on behalf of those suffering.
When you see injustice, you speak up on behalf of the person responsible for inflicting it.
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) June 20, 2018
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) June 20, 2018
Nancy Sinatra saw Ivanka’s tweet too, and, seeing the bigger picture, replied:
But how do we reunite the families now?
But how do we reunite the families now?
— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) June 20, 2018
A 2015 court ruling stated, the government must release children from detention after 20 days, which, if they are not to be separated from their families, means the immigration forces may face repercussions if this rule is broken, as the new policy could see families detained ‘indefinitely’.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.