It appears to be the first lawsuit filed by a parent separated from a child under a zero-tolerance border policy that the Trump administration defends as necessary to deter illegal immigration despite an explosion of criticism. The American Civil Liberties Union has sued challenging the overall policy.
Taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion in four years to private companies operating immigrant youth shelters accused of serious lapses in care, including neglect and sexual and physical abuse. In nearly all cases, the federal government has continued to place migrant children with the companies even after serious allegations were raised.
House Republican leaders are reworking a compromise immigration bill to modify but not completely end the “zero tolerance” policy being enforced by the Trump administration. Under the new legislation, children would be held in the same place as their parents if they are detained.
The president blames Democrats for the separation of families at the border, but “the Trump administration implemented this policy by choice and could end it by choice,” says the Washington Post fact checker.
A senior administration official at the Department of Health and Human Services says the agency expects to be taking in about 250 children a day as a result of the crackdown on illegal immigration that started in May, even as President and Mrs. Trump declared in separate statements they “hated” seeing kids taken from their parents. That could mean some 30,000 kids will be detained by the end of August, the official said.
Amid protests across the country Thursday, the White House and attorney general cited Bible verses to support the separation of families at the Mexican border, a practice that a leading Democrat called “barbaric.” House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans said they are not comfortable with the situation.
A media investigation found that Pennsylvania troopers and some local officers were helping federal authorities round up immigrants for deportation, using tactics that raise questions about racial profiling and unlawful arrest.
The Trump administration is analyzing old fingerprints in an unprecedented effort to rescind American citizenship from immigrants who may have lied or falsified information on their naturalization forms.
A former Walmart Supercenter in Brownsville, Texas, has become the largest licensed migrant children’s shelter in the country — a warehouse for nearly 1,500 boys aged 10 to 17 who were caught illegally crossing the border. The New York Times calls the place “a model of border life in Trump-era America.”