Trump imposes rule allowing U.S. to detain migrant families indefinitely - Whisper Eye

Trump imposes rule allowing U.S. to detain migrant families indefinitely


The Trump administration on Wednesday unveiled a rule that allows officials to detain migrant families indefinitely while judges consider whether to grant them asylum in the United States, abolishing a previous 20-day limit.

The rule, which is certain to draw a legal challenge, would replace a 1997 court settlement that limits the amount of time U.S. immigration authorities can detain migrant children. That agreement is generally interpreted as meaning families must be released within 20 days.

It was the Republican administration’s third major regulation restricting immigration in little more than a month, all during an unsettled period when senior immigration officials hold “acting” titles lacking U.S. Senate confirmation.

Trump has made cracking down on legal and illegal immigration a hallmark of his presidency after campaigning in 2016 on a promise, so far unfulfilled, that Mexico would pay for a border wall to keep migrants from entering the United States.

In what would be another attempt to dismantle established immigration law, Trump told reporters on Wednesday his administration was seriously looking at ending the right of citizenship for children born to non-citizens within the United States.

Immigration officials are looking for any kind of deterrent to reverse a record surge in families fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials say they have caught or rejected 475,000 family members in the past 10 months, more than three times any previous full year.

On July 15 the administration unveiled a rule to bar almost all immigrants from applying for asylum at the southern border, and on Aug. 12 it announced regulation denying visas and permanent residency for those who fail to make enough money.

Multiple lawsuits were filed within days of the two previous immigration rules.

Legal challenges have held up many of Trump’s initiatives, but immigration advocates say he has managed to build an “invisible wall” through executive actions bypassing Congress.

The administration framed the policy as a humane approach to a crisis.

“To protect these children from abuse, and stop this illegal flow, we must close these loopholes. This is an urgent humanitarian necessity,” Trump said in a statement.

Critics counter that Trump and Stephen Miller, his aide on immigration, are using a series of heartless policies to animate hard-core political supporters.

“The administration is seeking to codify child abuse, plain and simple,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said in a statement, adding that she expected a federal judge would strike down the new rule.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the plan, saying in a statement that it would consider legal action.

Pediatricians have said children may suffer numerous negative physical and emotional symptoms from detention, even if only brief. The American Psychoanalytic Association on Wednesday branded the Trump policies as “psychological warfare.”

“It has become clear that the current administration uses cruel language, policies and abuse with the objective of deterring immigrants and asylum seekers,” said Lee Jaffe, president of APsaA.

Meanwhile, Trump  is seriously looking at ending birthright citizenship

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that his administration was seriously looking at ending the right of citizenship for U.S.-born children of noncitizens and people who immigrated to the United States illegally.

“We’re looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land, you walk over the border, have a baby – congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen. … It’s frankly ridiculous,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.

Trump has made cracking down on immigration a central plank of his presidency and re-election campaign, but many of the administration’s sweeping rule changes and executive orders have been stymied by the courts.

The Republican president had told Axios news website in October 2018 that he would end “birthright citizenship” through an executive order. Experts have said such a move would run afoul of the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution’s 14th Amendment, passed after the Civil War to ensure that black Americans had full citizenship rights, granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.”

It has since routinely been interpreted to grant citizenship to most people born in the United States, whether or not their parents are American citizens or legally living in the United States.

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