Despite Trump order, border child separations could go on: legal experts - TNBC USA

Friday, June 22, 2018- As per legal experts, the much-disparaged U.S policy of putting apart the trespassers of the U.S.-Mexico border from their children might continue to go on under certain circumstances.

A professor of public interest law at George Washington University, John Banzhaf said, “The first thing that hit me when I read the order was the tremendous amount of wiggle room built into it”.

On Wednesday, the order was signed by Trump, calls for those families to be detained together but it permits separation if deemed that detention with a parent “would pose a risk to the child’s welfare. the order reflected, “Family unity is the policy “where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources”.

In April, the administration announced a “zero tolerance” policy that all immigrants apprehended while crossing the border illegally should be prosecuted under the country’s criminal entry statute. It led to separations of parents and children because when border agents refer apprehended migrants to court, parents are held in federal jail to await trial by a judge while the children either remain in border patrol custody or are moved into facilities managed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Legal experts also said that this language would be exploited by the government to separate families on various grounds and be challenged in court, potentially adding to the welter of litigation against Trump’s hardline immigration policy.

Despite Trump’s order, the American Civil Liberties Union said it would press on with a lawsuit arguing the family separation policy violated the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which holds no person can be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process. A family was being separated on the ground of a loophole in Trump’s executive order could potentially bring a similar due process challenge.

Trump’s executive order, would allow the government to argue on the point of separation, that detention facilities were too crowded, for instance, said Greg Siskind, a Memphis immigration lawyer.

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