Confusion reigns over fate of detained migrant children

22 June, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Trump’s Border Policy Boss Driven Out Of Mexican Restaurant By Protesters

GOP leaders ... are under no impression that they'll be able to secure the 218 votes needed in the next 24 hours to pass the measure, and they only agreed to the postponement under pressure from conservative members who are opposed to the legislation in the first place.

Until Wednesday, the president, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other officials had repeatedly argued the only way to end the practice was for Congress to pass new legislation, while Democrats said Trump could do it with his signature alone.

The percentage of parents who've come forward to claim unaccompanied minors has plunged in recent years as the Trump administration has cracked down on undocumented immigrants, and a new plan to fingerprint sponsors and check their immigration status could further reduce their numbers.

The president says his administration is trying to balance rigorous enforcement of USA immigration laws and pursue its policy of maintaining family unity. "Republicans must get rid of the stupid Filibuster Rule-it is killing you!"

Both bills are expected to fail due not just to Democratic opposition but also to the fact that Republicans, who have a majority of the House, don't appear to have the backing votes.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump made a U-turn and took executive action aimed at curbing the separation of families. His order seemed to stem some of the urgency for Congress to act.

After visiting Capitol Hill Tuesday night to rally a broad immigration bill, Trump said Wednesday he still hopes that Congress will act.

The outcome of the votes is uncertain.


Trump speaks at the White House.

Pratheepan Gulasekaram, an immigration law professor at Santa Clara University, said the Los Angeles federal court with jurisdiction over the Flores settlement is unlikely to grant the government's request to modify it. Ahead of voting Thursday, the results of the outreach were mixed.

"We have no reassurance that the families that have been ripped apart - that those kids are going to be reunited and that this Administration is taking responsibility for its actions", she said. "It won't be easy". That came after the Washington Post cited an unnamed official as saying that prosecutions of parents who cross into the United States illegally would be suspended until Immigration and Customs Enforcement could "accelerate resource capacity to allow us to maintain custody".

The House bill is a compromise between the conservative and moderate factions that dragged on for several weeks.

The second bill was a compromise between the House GOP's conservative and moderate wings that nonetheless still faced conservative opposition.

The House on Thursday was debating a conservative option that would include tough enforcement of immigration laws but omit a guaranteed path to citizenship for the "Dreamers". "But at the same time I think you have to understand we are keeping families together, but we have to keep our borders strong". And it revises the longstanding preference for family visas in favor of a merit system based on education level and work skills.

It also suggests the government intends to hold the families indefinitely by challenging an existing statute, the 1997 Flores Settlement, that places a 20-day limit on how long children, along or with their parents, can be detained.

Ken Wolfe was speaking for the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), which oversees where children are placed after they are separated from their parents. Because any illegal border crossing is prosecuted, parents and children are separated during the legal process.

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