Trump ‘Just Wants To Separate Families’

After Secretary Nielsen’s resignation, Trump is doubling down on his cruel anti-immigrant agenda. Now, Trump wants to illegally revive and even escalate his family separation policy. As one senior administration official put it, “[Trump] just wants to separate families.”


Trump wants a stricter, more widespread “zero tolerance” policy that would result in even more family separations.


CNN: “Senior administration officials also told CNN that in the last four months or so, the President has been pushing Nielsen to enforce a stricter and more widespread ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy — not just the original policy started by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and undone by the President once it was criticized — that called for the prosecution of individuals crossing the border illegally between ports of entry, resulting in the separation of parents from children.”


Trump wants to separate families even when they come through legal ports of entry seeking asylum.


CNN: “According to multiple sources, the President wanted families separated even if they came in at a legal port of entry and were legal asylum seekers. The President wanted families separated even if they were apprehended within the US. He thinks the separations work to deter migrants from coming.”


Trump’s pick to replace Secretary Nielsen at DHS is the one who implemented Trump’s family separation.


Daily Beast: “Kirstjen Nielsen will go down in infamy for claiming the Trump administration did not ‘create a policy of separating families at the border,’ but the man taking her job as homeland security secretary actually implemented the policy—and it was his agents who did the separating. … In April 2018, McAleenan co-authored a memo to Nielsen stating that DHS could ‘direct the separation of parents or legal guardians and minors held in immigration detention so that the parent or legal guardian can be prosecuted…’ The memo laid out several options for Nielsen to choose so DHS could help prosecute every unauthorized border crossing under the abandoned ‘zero tolerance’ policy.”


Trump’s DHS is now pursuing a “binary choice” policy that would force immigrant parents to choose between being separated from their children or detained indefinitely with them.


Washington Post: “DHS officials are now looking for a way to satisfy the president’s demand for ‘tough’ measures, including a plan called ‘binary choice’ that would give migrant parents the option of remaining detained as a family or agreeing to a separation so that their children would not remain in immigration custody.”


NBC: “Three U.S. officials said that Kevin McAleenan, the head of Customs and Border Patrol who is expected to take over as acting DHS secretary, has not ruled out family separation as an option. The policy McAleenan would consider, according to the officials, is known as ‘binary choice’ and would give migrant parents the option between being separated from their children or bringing their children with them into long term detention.”


Trump called for eliminating the entire asylum system and reportedly ordered officials to illegally deny entry to asylum seekers.


Trump: “They have to get rid of the whole asylum system.”


CNN: “Behind the scenes, two sources told CNN, the President told border agents to not let migrants in. Tell them we don’t have the capacity, he said. If judges give you trouble, say, ‘Sorry, judge, I can’t do it. We don’t have the room.’ After the President left the room, agents sought further advice from their leaders, who told them they were not giving them that direction and if they did what the President said they would take on personal liability. You have to follow the law, they were told.”