Migration and Separation

Everyday, in the United States of America, children are being separated from their families when they attempt to cross from a life of misery into the “land of the free”. These children are being kept hostage by the U.S. government while their parents are sent to jail for crossing the border illegally. These families are trying to cross the border with hopes of living a better life.

On average, 45 children are being separated from their parents every day at the southern border of the U.S. , and at least 2,700 children were separated from their families between 1st October 2017 and 31st May 2018.

This is a policy which states that all adults caught entering into the United States illegally should be criminally prosecuted and even arrested. So separation is inevitable when this happens to parents since their child(ren) cannot go to federal jail with them.

On 15th June 2018, President Trump stated that this can’t be stopped “through an executive order” since, as he falsely claimed, the problem can only be solved by the United States Congress. And what did he decide to do on the 20th June 2018, just 5 days after? He signed an executive order to stop it, which he said was “about keeping families together”.

For reasonable reasons, this policy was not welcomed by many people in the U.S. as well as around the world. This policy has left various negative effects on its victims, including on the Honduran 39-year-old father, Marco Antonio Muñoz.

On 13th May 2018, at around 10 AM, 39-year-old Marco Antonio Muñoz committed suicide in his jail cell after being separated from his wife and his 3-year-old child. The family had applied for asylum to flee from the violence in Honduras.

All this relates to Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall at the border and him wanting to end the D.A.C.A. (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. But Trump blames the Democratic Party for all this.

On 5th June 2018, he posted on Twitter: “Separating families at the Border is the fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats. Border Security laws should be changed but the Dems can’t get their act together! Started the Wall.”

This is false because there is no law which states that families entering the U.S. are to be separated. The decision to charge in criminal court those who are looking for asylum without waiting to find out if they qualify for asylum and the decision to charge every person crossing the border illegally are both decisions made by the Trump administration.

But these migration problems have also been going on before Trump’s time as president in the Obama administration. The major difference is how they handled it.

Barack Obama was faced with a genuine increase in families and children entering the United States. On the other hand, Donald Trump just decided that usual numbers were not acceptable.

children
Note:
Vertical Axis - The number of people caught crossing into the U.S. between ports of entry (apprehensions).
Horizontal Axis - The number of people who went to ports of entry without immigration papers, for example, to seek asylum (“inadmissibles”).
Blue Line – What Obama was dealing with (2014)
Orange Line – When Trump took office (2017)

Source: Vox

Another difference is that although both Obama and Trump took legal action against people who crossed the border illegally, Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy created family separation. Prosecution of illegal entry in the U.S. was not started by Obama, but he still continued it.

So in conclusion, even though this has been going on for years, Trump has made harsher decisions and implementations than past administrations. And he is blaming past administrations for it.

Written by : Bradley Cachia

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