Homeland Security

Fact-Checking 4 Claims About Detaining Children at the Border

12/29/18
from Daily Signal,
6/18/18:

The Trump administration is taking heat from Democrats and Republicans for separating parents and children after they illegally crossed the southern border. Over the six weeks from April 19 through May 31, federal officials separated about 2,000 children from their families at the U.S.-Mexican border, the Associated Press reported last week. President Donald Trump blamed the procedure on Democrats in Congress.

Here’s a look at four of the more questionable claims made about the enforcement action. 1. Democrats’ Law or Trump Policy? “The Democrats forced that law upon our nation,” Trump asserted last week. Democrats, backed by some media commentators, counter that it’s not the law but a Trump administration policy. Actually, experts say, the situation is a combination of a bipartisan law and a Clinton administration policy.

2. Unprecedented Action by Trump Administration? Some media outlets have called the practice of separating children from parents at the border “unprecedented” or a “new low” for the United States. What’s different under the Trump administration, though, is a “zero tolerance” approach to enforcing existing immigration laws and policy.

“The Trump administration currently faces two options: Either release every family that crosses the border and claims asylum and know that most of them will never show up at their immigration court hearing; or release the child as required by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ interpretation of the Flores settlement while holding the parents while awaiting trial,” Inserra told The Daily Signal. “A third, better solution is to fix the loophole created by the 9th Circuit with regard to Flores and improve the asylum process to discourage frivolous asylum claims, while also better serving those with legitimate asylum cases,” Inserra added. Proposed legislation by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.; Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.; and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.would reverse the 9th Circuit’s interpretation.

3. ‘Concentration Camps’? Much of the criticism of separating children from parents at the border has been from Democrats.

The Department of Homeland Security rejected the comparison, noting that most children caught crossing the border illegally are not detained by federal officials. “We have high standards,” Nielsen said ...

In the last fiscal year, 90 percent of apprehended children were released to a sponsor who was either a parent or close relative, according to the department.

4. Taking Babies From Nursing Mothers? CNN reported last week on an illegal immigrant from Honduras who claimed her nursing daughter was pulled away from her before she was handcuffed. CNN cited a lawyer from a liberal legal group called the Texas Civil Rights Project. In a conference call with reporters last week, a senior Department of Homeland Security official said this was not the case.

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