The zero tolerance Trump border policy is breaking up families and giving the Republicans bad press… or an excuse.
The Trump border policy involves enforcing our immigration law. This policy is so new to the world that it is going to take awhile for lawbreakers to get used to the policy. Basically, for years the law has not really been enforced. Families could simply cross the border with very little risk.
But now people who break the law go to jail. Since we don’t imprison children for their parents’ crimes, the children brought into the country illegally end up separated from them.
This has provided Republicans with an opportunity to go against the President.
The Washington Times reports, “Congressional Republicans break from Trump on zero-tolerance border policy.”
Congressional Republicans began to break Thursday with the Trump administration over its zero-tolerance border policy, saying that while they respect the goal of enforcing the law, they are uncomfortable with the consequence of children torn from their parents’ arms.
One Republican senator posted a video of himself assuring a constituent he wanted separations to be rare, while a Republican congressman called the situation a “nightmare” and said the government shouldn’t be “dragging children away from their parents.”
Their comments joined a growing outcry from Democrats, immigrant rights activists and religious leaders. The country’s Catholic bishops at a meeting this week even floated the idea of punishing Catholics who carry out the administration’s zero tolerance policy.[…]
The zero tolerance policy is a directive to border authorities to refer anyone who tries to jump the border illegally to prosecutors, who have been directed to bring charges in as many cases as possible.
While illegal immigration is a crime, past administrations have focused more on lesser penalties such as deportation, only charging a small percentage of illegal immigrants with misdemeanors or, in the case of repeat offenders, felonies.
The new policy was intended to change the incentives for would-be immigrants, urging them to arrive at ports of entry and make their case through the normal process rather than sneak in.
But the consequence of arrests and prosecutions is that parents who come with their children and who get arrested end up in jail, at least initially — and like with other crimes, their children cannot follow them to jail.[…]
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who announced the zero tolerance policy, defended it Thursday, and aimed his remarks particularly at religious leaders, saying that if they’re trying to protect children’s lives, they would join him in discouraging the new surge of illegal immigrants.
It is quite likely that the children are an opportunity for Republicans in Congress to do what they already wanted to do.
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