President Trump's attempt to blame Democrats for separating migrant families at the border is renewing a political uproar over immigration, in an issue that has been challenged Trump throughout his presidency and threatens to grow more and more immigration.
In one of several misleading tweets during the holiday weekend, Trump pushed Democrats to change to a "horrible law" that the president said illegally. But there is no law, and the policies of his own administration that have the family separation that is.
In April, more than 50,000 migrants were deemed to be "illegitimate and are detained". The surge in illegal border crossings is expected to continue as the economy improves and warmer weather arrives.
"I keep imagining somebody taking my kids from me. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), Who is helping to organize a Thursday rally, said: "My kids are 2 and 4 years old, and that's the age of some children." in San Antonio to highlight the issue. "When a lot of people hear the story, they get a similar reaction. They can not imagine why this would be a standard government practice. "
Trump's Distortion Offers a Family Playbook, Critics of the Administration's Policy Say. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and then insisted on hard-line measures in a bill to permanently protect "dreamers."
"In their view, Trump's most recent comments are" He used DACA kids as a bargaining chip, and did not work, "said Kevin Appleby, the senior director of international migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies, a nonpartisan think tank. "So now he's using vulnerable Central American families for his nativist agenda. It's shameless. "
Trump's proudest accomplishments: The sharp drop in illegal migration in the months after his November 201
The recent uptick in numbers has left the president privately frustrated, and top administration officials have pursued numerous ways to crack down on increased migration at the border.
National Guard troops to the border. The Justice Department has dispatched more attorneys and judges to the border, while the White House has ramped up its public relations offensive, organizing recent roundtable events in both Washington and on Long Island to underscore Trump's hard-line stance.
The Department of Homeland Security wants to refer to Justice Department prosecutors all who crossed the border illegally, a move denounced by immigrant rights groups asylum seekers.
The New Zero-Tolerance Policy Wants to Be Exempted, Because Children Can not Be Detained in Criminal Jails. Those kids are deemed to be unaccompanied minors, and those federal law are required to be placed in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services.
May 7, Attorney General Jeff Sessions: "If you do not want to be separated, then do not bring them across the border illegally. It's not our fault that somebody does that. "
" Homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in Senate testimony earlier this month. "
" My decision has been prosecuted. " "If you're a parent, or you're a single person, or you happen to have a family, we'll refer you for prosecution. You've broken law. "
The new policy appears to have immediate effects. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Richard Hudson, the deputy chief operations officer at Customs and Border Protection, told lawmakers that between May 6 and May 19, 638 adults had been referred for prosecutions under the new "zero-tolerance" effort.
Those adults were brought up with a total of 658 children, Hudson said. A DHS official said that many of these families may have already reunited. HHS and DHS have worked in tandem to reunite children with parents, according to the official.
The administration has also said that it is illegal to carry out an abuse or a criminal act , the official said.
But Trump, whose campaign pledge centered on a frontier wall that Mexico would pay for, has made it clear that he has fulfilled his immigration pledges.
"Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separate children from there [sic] They once cross the Border into the United States," Trump tweeted Saturday. "Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must go with it and we must continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS. "
The White House did not return a request for more information on the President's Saturday tweet. But it is a litany of demands made on Congress, which is controlled by Republicans. They include ending a visa lottery for people who come from countries with lower levels of migration to the United States, as well as restricting family-based immigration laws. citizens could no longer sponsor relatives such as parents or siblings, or so-called chain migration.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of Trump's closest allies in congress, questioned Sunday: Some of the adult migrants show up at the border with children are really their parents, citing human-trafficking concerns.
"We would have to address that," Meadows said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "But I think conservative and moderate, Democrats and Republicans all agree that keeping a family together is the best strategy, and it's something we need to address and will address. "
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Speaking on "Face the Nation," advocated for borderline security measures to send a "clear message" that illegal immigration to the United States would not be accepted.
"Rubio said." "We have trafficked here," Rubio said. Them them and they often take advantage of them and brutalize them on the path towards the United States, and the ability to cross that border is a magnet that is drawing this behavior. "
The current intraparty fight among House Republicans has focused on a citizenship path for "dreamers," prompted by a coalition of frustrated GOP lawmakers who have long pressed their leadership for action on the issue.
But a showdown on border security in earnest is likely to return later this year, when funding for federal government runs dry at the end of September. Trump has already threatened to shut down the government. Democrats are already – and again – preparing to fight.
"The law does not require this human and immoral action – DHS could stop it today. We do not need a law. This is a punt. They literally just ran this bad-faith play with DACA, "Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) tweeted Sunday. It's never stopping. "