Analysis | The facts about Trump’s policy of separating families at the border

Administration officials have
pointed to “the law” as the reason why undocumented children are being
separated from their parents. But there’s no such law.

The president and top administration officials say
U.S. laws or court rulings are forcing them to separate families that
are caught trying to cross the southern border.

These
claims are false. Immigrant families are being separated primarily
because the Trump administration in April began to prosecute as many
border-crossing offenses as possible. This “zero-tolerance policy” applies to all adults, regardless of whether they cross alone or with their children.

The Justice Department can’t prosecute children
along with their parents, so the natural result of the zero-tolerance
policy has been a sharp rise in family separations. Nearly 2,000
immigrant children were separated from parents during six weeks in April
and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The
Trump administration implemented this policy by choice and could end it
by choice. No law or court ruling mandates family separations. In fact,
during its first 15 months, the Trump administration released nearly 100,000 immigrants
who were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, a total that includes
more than 37,500 unaccompanied minors and more than 61,000 family
members.

Analysis | The facts about Trump’s policy of separating families at the border

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