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Reports Show President Trump Has Pushed To Resume Family Separations At The Border

Dan
Dan
April 9, 2019

One of the biggest talking points of the Trump presidency has reared its head again. President Donald Trump has reportedly renewed his push to promote a policy that separates migrant children from their families.

The fallout has already prompted one resignation.

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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen left her post Sunday. It didn’t take long for some of the reported details to trickle down: namely, that Nielsen resisted a directive from the president.

Trump reportedly wanted to reinstate family separations at the border.

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According to NBC News, the president had been agitating for months in an effort to get his administration to reinstate policies that would allow officials to separate migrant families at U.S. border crossings.

Nielsen and Trump reportedly butted heads.

Wikimedia Commons | VOA News

The NBC report says that Nielsen told Trump in no uncertain terms that reinstating the policy was not possible due to federal court orders that banned the separation of children from their families.

Trump’s going against himself here.

Wikimedia Commons | VOA News

Nielsen also reportedly pointed out that Trump’s own executive order, issued in June of 2018, called for an end to the practice. This means that Trump was attempting to reinstate something that he’d already effectively vetoed less than a year prior.

The tension created significant friction between Trump and Nielsen.

Twitter | @realDonaldTrump

While the president wished Nielsen well in his farewell tweet to the former Homeland Security head, it doesn’t mean that things were amicable. According to the NBC report, her resignation was the culmination of months of tension.

Nielsen leaves a complicated legacy

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She may have resigned on principled grounds, but she was still the one in charge when the first round of separations occurred. This led a CNN commentator to say she’d be remembered as “the woman who put children in cages.”

Did she really put children in cages?

Wikimedia Commons | US Customs and Border Patrol

The first round of separations did indeed put children in cage-like conditions, but Nielsen argued that they’re not cages, but rather fences that were made into cages, that isolated kids from their parents.

Trump has wanted this for months.

Wikimedia Commons | US Customs and Border Protection

Despite the 2018 executive order, the president has reportedly been interested in backtracking from this position since January. This was prompted by an upswing in reports of undocumented immigrants crossing into the United States.

What’s the goal here?

Wikimedia Commons | US Customs and Border Protection

Separating children from their families seems like a draconian move, but the motivation for supporters is that it could have a deterrent effect and dissuade other families from trying to cross the border.

There’s been a backlash.

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Trump hasn’t been coy about his desire to reinstate the policy, which has given opponents a chance to speak out against it. Last month, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus requested a meeting with federal officials.

There’s a new boss in town.

Twitter | @realDonaldTrump

Kevin McAleenan, currently the head of Customs and Border Protection, is expected to take over the Homeland Security job. Trump announced on Twitter that he intends to nominate McAleenan for the job.

Where does this leave things?

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Like most Trump appointees, McAleenan has been selected because the president expects him to adopt similar political positions and generally play ball with his policy demands, rather than fight the president.

McAleenan could reinstate the policy.

Wikimedia Commons | US Customs and Border Protection

Nielsen won’t hand over the position until April 10th, but it’s widely believed that McAleenan would take a more hardline approach at the southern border, including reinstating the separation policy.

It’ll be an interesting April in Washington.

Wikimedia Commons | Andreas Praefck

As Trump recommits to possibly his biggest campaign promise — to secure borders and keep illegal migrants out — it’ll likely embolden his base as well as his critics as the issue heats up.

What do you think?

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Politics can become a heated topic, so let’s try to be civil. But what do you think of this? Is the president committing to his promises, or backtracking by going against his own executive order? Let us know in the comments!

h/t NBC News