The president of the United States signed a decree to not separate more families. However, this does not speak of the cases that have occurred, but of those that are presented from now on
On Tuesday, June 19, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, changed his position on the separation of families of undocumented immigrants on the border. However, the problem is not solved by the decree that will keep together the family groups that try to cross illegally, because since April more than 2,000 children have been separated from their families, of which very few have been found.
Since the month of April and under the title of "zero tolerance" for undocumented immigrants, the United States government granted the power to the border patrol to separate children from their parents, when these families try to enter illegally to the United States. It is called zero tolerance, since every undocumented immigrant will be treated as a criminal, even if he/she does not have a criminal record, due to the fact that he/she crosses the border irregularly. Although the situation was being handled that way since April 2018, a report on migration activities of the Department of Justice was published, in which it is mentioned that in the period of just six weeks between April 19 and 6 June more than 2,000 children had been separated from their parents or adult relatives.
The extent of the retraction
Although legally the landscape does not change much, the retraction is directed especially to the separation of families, since the adults will continue being judicialized like delinquents. The difference is that they will now be in the company of the minors, that is, that the Department of Justice will continue to prosecute in a federal court the adults who cross the border illegally. However, Trump's decree calls for families to stay together in an appropriate and consistent manner "with the law and available resources," the text reads.
For Kenneth Wolfe, spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), "the decree does not speak of previous separations, there is talk that from now on there will be no separations, but there are more than 2,000 children that are still affected by the measure. " For Wolfe, the real challenge for the government is to find the children and reunite them with their families.
In the decree, Trump also asks to expedite the process to deport a family or them their legal status. To do this, the president orders the Department of Justice to prioritize cases involving detained families. However, the idea of keeping minors locked up will also cause problems, says Cristóbal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Project. "It is incredible the chaos that this administration has created when implementing a policy that had neither feet nor head, they are not going to separate families, they are going to lock them together," says Alex.
Republicans do not know what to do
Trump took the opportunity to blame the Congress in the decree, arguing that the failure that is being lived derives "specifically because of its failure to approve immigration legislation." In addition, in the press conference to publicize the decree, he argued that it was his turn to solve what Congress has not been able to do by not agreeing.
For their part, Democrats have begun to use images of imprisoned children and audios of their cries in commercials ahead of the legislative elections to be held next November, commercials that have been broadcast in chains of television as NBC and ABC. With this, it is possible that the Democrats hope to take control of at least the House of Representatives.
The problem for Republican lawmakers lies in the fact that if they do not give a coherent solution to the scandal, the Democratic Party could not only gain control of the House of Representatives but also that of the Senate if the electorate does not approve them for re-election.
Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella
Translated from ""Ya no van a separar familias, las van a encerrar juntos", presidente de Latino Victory Project"