The United States’ Department of Homeland Security, under President Trump’s administration, announced that, in hopes of bettering immigration enforcement, they will increase criminal prosecutions of illegal immigrant parents and place their children in protective custody. This policy is considered stricter than ever before and “zero tolerance.” According to an email from a DHS official, those who cross illegally will be sent directly to federal court. The DHS reported that there have been around 30,000 prosecution referrals since October.
Separating families, according to attorney general Jeff Sessions, is an effective way to discourage illegal immigration. “If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”
This policy has people wondering if the separation of children from their parents is inhumane. John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff, said that the children “will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever.”
A recent Tweet from President Trump read, “Illegal immigration must end!” A major piece of his promises as president has always been to strengthen security on the Mexican border and eliminate illegal crossings.
This new process of separating families will be different from the system than is currently in place, which is that the border crossers are deported after being caught without receiving any criminal charges. One of the first steps in implementing the new policy is to meet with officers and government officials in California, a state with many “sanctuary cities.” Trump hopes to
“blast” these cities and depict illegal immigrants as a violent threat.
Sanctuary cities are safe houses for immigrants, and according to President Trump, they are attempts to nullify federal law. On this, Trump said, “The state of California’s attempts to nullify federal law have sparked a rebellion by patriotic citizens who want their families protected and their borders secured. They want border security. They want protection. That’s what we’re all about.”
There is a specific group of illegal immigrants Trump wants to remove (though he wants to remove all illegal immigrants), the gang members. He calls members of Central American-based gang, MS-13, “animals,” and insists that he will crack down on deportations of all immigrant gang members.
“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before,” President Trump said about MS-13 members. He also said “MS-13, we’re grabbing them by the thousands and we’re getting them out.”