June 20, 2018

Why are families being torn apart at the US border?

Immigration policy causes outrage as images of children go viral.

For thousands of immigrants to the United States, the American Dream has turned into a nightmare.


More than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents as the government of President Donald Trump enforces a "zero tolerance policy" on undocumented immigrants. Pictures of children in cages, and heart wrenching stories of families torn apart continue to emerge and provoke outrage. Protests are growing louder, and crossing party lines. The Trump administration could end up holding as many as 30,000 immigrant children by the end of the summer, the Washington Examiner has reported, citing a senior official.


Despite the outcry, recent polls show that the policy is supported by many in Trump’s core Republican base. During his presidential campaign, he promised to tighten US borders, and some see him as now simply following through on that commitment.


The move, implemented in April, has been defended by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen who both say they are abiding by a law that has existed since 1997 and that children are being well cared for. In a speech on Tuesday, Trump doubled down on his defence of border security.


On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Holly Cooper @abogadatejana
Co-director, Immigration Law Clinic

Erika Pinheiro @AlOtroLado_Org
Policy and Litigation Director, Al Otro Lado 

Bridget Cambria @BridgetCambria8 
Immigration Attorney


Read more:

Listen to Children Who’ve Just Been Separated From Their Parents at the Border - ProPublica
The Government Has No Plan for Reuniting the Immigrant Families It Is Tearing Apart - The New Yorker


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