Donald Trump ended his administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents during detention for attempting to illegally enter the US
This change of mind and immediate action came after numerous protests from administration opponents and allies occurred, reacting to the sounds of young children who were traumatized by the separation from their parents.
“So we’re going to have strong — very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together. I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” said Trump.
Basically, he is ordering the replacement of family separation with detention of the entire family, even if he previously argued that “You can’t do it by executive order.”
The administration says that is trying to balance the rigorous enforcement of US immigration laws and purse the main goal of maintaining family unity. Furthermore, Trump argues that his administration was put “in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law” because of “Congress’s failure to act” and “court orders.”
By court orders, he refers to the court case known as “the Flores Settlement,” which reached in 1997 and required the government’s limitation of the time it detained unaccompanied minors while keeping them in the least restrictive setting possible. Moreover, the settlement was modified to say that children should not be detained for more than 20 days.
Trump’s executive order aims to modify the Flores Settlement and allow detained migrant families to be kept together “throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings … or other immigration proceedings.”
On the other hand, it is not clear when the already detained children will be reunited with their parents.
“There will not be a grandfathering of existing cases,” said Wolfe
“The U.S. authorities create different files for the children than for the parents, and it’s very difficult to follow up on those cases,” Torres said.