Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to solve the issue of family separation at the border, which his administration created and enforced while keeping in place key components of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting illegal border crossings along the U.S-Mexico border. While the administration will continue prosecuting crimes of “improper entry”, the administration will “maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources,” according to the order’s text.
“We are keeping families together and this will solve that problem. At the time we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero tolerance, we have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally,” Trump said. He added falsely that no one has had the “political courage” to take care of the issue which he claims has gone on for over 60 years.
In actuality the family separations at the border began earlier this year, when Trump’s own Attorney General Jeff Sessions under orders from the White Hoouse mandated that all people caught crossing into the U.S. illegally be referred for criminal prosecution. Under that policy, adults were sent to jail under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security, while children have been held in facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Since the policy was implemented, over 2,000 children have been separated, according to government figures.
The House is slated to vote Thursday on two immigration bills, one of which appears doomed while the other has only a moderate prospect of passing. Lawmakers in general are not remotely close to a consensus on what an immigration solution might actually look like.
Trump’s EO does nothing to alleviate the suffering of children already separated from their parents, who already may be deported. And if you think this government is in any way prepared for the massive task of reuniting children with their parents who are still awaiting court proceedings and being held in custody, well, I have a lovely resort in Mexico I can get for you cheap.