Trump’s latest immigration adjustment ruffles feathers on Capitol Hill


From the very onset of his political career, Donald Trump has taken a tough stance on immigration.

His 2016 campaign was very much centered around the idea of building a “big, beautiful” wall on our southern border, in an attempt to funnel illegal crossings into our naturalization process through established ports of entry.  Due to pressure from Congress and the court system, the wall has been largely stymied so far, forcing Border Patrol to arrest incredibly large numbers of would-be Americans who’ve arrived illegally.

The mass influx of migrants, thanks in no small part to the organization of several “caravans” from Central America, has put an incredible strain on the US immigration system.  This has, in turn, led to a number of disturbing instances in which families are finding themselves separate by American authorities – a tactic employed by the Obama administration as well.

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Now, another adjustment has been made in the wake of the wall-less and lawless situation – and it has many observers up in arms.

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The Trump administration is moving to end a long-standing federal court agreement that limits how long immigrant children can be kept in detention, a decision that will almost certainly lead to a new court fight over the government’s ability to hold migrant families until their cases are decided.

Ending the so-called Flores agreement is a top priority for the Trump administration. It requires the government to keep children in the least restrictive setting and to release them as quickly as possible, generally after 20 days in detention. Homeland Security officials say they are adopting regulations that reflect the agreement and there is no longer a need for court involvement, which was only meant to be temporary.

Some see the move as merely a campaign stunt by the Trump team.

Peter Schey, a lawyer for the immigrant children in the Flores case and president of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, said if the regulations don’t match the settlement, “they would be in immediate material breach, if not contempt of court.”

“I think all these things are now part of the 2020 campaign,” Schey said.

The Department of Homeland Security did not provide an estimate for how long these families could face detention prior to their processing, furthering concerns of an exponentially worsening humanitarian crisis.

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