Obama Homeland Security Secretary: Trump immigration policy 'unsustainable'

17 June, 2018, 15:40 | Author: Sheila Harris

Almost 4600 mental health professionals and 90 organisations have joined a petition urging US President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and several elected officials to stop the policy of separating children from their parents.

A controversial clampdown on immigration has caused almost 2,000 children to be separated from their families at the United States border over a six-week period.

He described the large tents housing the children as containing "a full heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, as well as a floor and doors". And that the only thing you have done to deserve this, is to do what children do: "stay close to the adults in their lives for security".

Under the "zero tolerance" policy, lawyers say, immigrants who request asylum are being separated from their children, along with those who enter the country illegally, even though the former have committed no crime. I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law.

Amid an outcry over the detentions, the DHS official insisted the minors were held in decent conditions.

"We are fixing family separation within this bill and have made changes to keep children with at least one of their parents", he said.

The policy Trump has decried as "horrible and cruel" is something his own administration put forth - and something it has forcefully defended. That was the rule, Kraft said she was told: They're not allowed to touch the children.

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A DHS spokesman said the separations occurred between April 19 and the end of May under the administration's relatively new "zero tolerance" policy, in which parents have also been arrested.

"The president has told folks that in lieu of the laws being fixed, he wants to use the enforcement mechanisms that we have", a White House official said.

The image greeting child migrants at the Casa Padre detention facility in Brownsville, Texas. Sanders stonewalled the question and continued to blame the Democrats - as has President Trump - for the fiasco.

His demand for building a border wall was a constant campaign theme, and he has lately referred to some immigrants, particularly gang members, as "animals". Several days ago, an attorney from the Texas Civil Rights Project watched as US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents took a breast-feeding infant from her mother.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, called it "unconscionable", saying, "Those at the highest levels of the Trump administration are responsible and must provide the public a clear explanation of how this happened and how these families will be reunited". Signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008, the legislation ensures that unaccompanied children who arrive at the US-Mexico border are "exempt from prompt return to their home country", unless those countries are Canada or Mexico. But when it separates families at the border?

Sharing information with DHS, which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, will likely mean parents and family members in the USA illegally will not come forward for their children, fearing they'll be arrested - leading to longer stays for the children in the ORR shelters. "That contradicts everything we know that the kids need to build their health", Kraft said.

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