In May, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy in which all those apprehended entering the United States illegally would be criminally charged, which generally leads to children being separated from their parents.
From April 19 through May 31 of this year, 1,995 minors traveling with 1,940 adults who said they were the children's guardians were separated due to the policy, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters on a conference call. A DHS spokesman disclosed the figures during a phone call meant to defend the administration's decision to charge all adults crossing the U.S. border illegally with federal crimes. The lack of measurable impact on immigration lends weight to questions about the policy's effectiveness, going beyond moral issues raised by the policy's critics.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in early May that officials would separate parents and children who are caught illegally crossing the border while prosecuting the parents for a federal misdemeanor. In case you missed it, "the President of the United States expressed the wish the people of the United States would model themselves after the malnourished population of North Korea", says the host.
"We do not have a policy of separating families at the border".
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The White House also agreed with Sessions and Sarah Huckabee-Sanders said during a press briefing that "it is very Biblical to enforce the law".
Democrat Senators are attempting to drum up support in Congress to legislate against the policy, including proposing a law that would ban the practice.
The official tally of separations is now almost 4,000 children, not including March and the beginning of April 2018. "We must do everything in our power to uphold America's values and the rights of children not to be forcibly separated from their parents". Nielsen said Thursday that as many as 10,000 of those children were sent alone by their parents. Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee also used humor tinged with anger to highlight the border crisis, with Colbert reminding us that the U.S.is "the only country in the whole damned world doing it, because it's plain wrong".
"The U.S. Justice Department is ignoring its legal and moral obligation for the sake of a political agenda at the expense of children and the efforts of state law enforcement officials combating crimes like human trafficking, drug trafficking and gang violence which operate across global borders", Balderas said in a statement. The agency, he says, "initially seeks to determine if the child has a parent in this country; and if not a parent, a close relative; and if not a close relative, a more distant relative or a family friend".