Sat. Apr 20th, 2019

Trump denies that he plans to separate immigrant families on the border again

Trump denies that he plans to separate immigrant families on the border again



US President Donald Trump denied Tuesday that he is thinking about restoring his controversial policy of separating undocumented families on the southern border, and described as "shameful" the judicial decision that blocked his practice of waiting in Mexico to those who request asylum in their country.

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"We are not thinking about doing that, no," Trump said when asked about rumors of new family separations, during a White House meeting with Egyptian President Abdelfatah al Sisi.

"But when we do not, many more people come to the border," he said "When you do not have (that policy), you see a lot more people coming in. They come as if they were going to a picnic, like 'we're going to Disneyland.'

Several US media reported Monday that Trump had repeated to his advisers in recent weeks that he would like to reestablish a policy that would lead to the separation of families, similar to the one that his government implemented at the beginning of last year.

The division of families was a consequence of the policy of "zero tolerance" with illegal immigration, for which the US criminally prosecuted undocumented adults, something that was not done before, and that led to alienate children from their parents when they were deprived of their liberty.

Trump ended that policy last June, following the decision of a federal judge, and ordered his government to keep the children together with their parents or relatives in detention centers.

But his adviser Stephen Miller has been promoting for months a new version of the policy, which would force the undocumented to choose between voluntarily accepting that the children be separated from them, or allowing the minors to be deprived of their right not to be detained indefinitely so they can be locked up with them.

Trump said Tuesday again that the policy of separation of families was initiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama (2009-2017), a false allegation because the former president's government only resorted to that measure in isolated cases, when border agents suspected that the adults could be exploiting the minors.

"President Obama separated the children, I was the one who changed him," Trump said.

The president added that "the cages that were shown were built by the Obama Administration", a statement that is closer to the truth, because some photographs that circulated as if they were children separated by Trump's policy were actually from 2014, when a wave of minors alone arrived at the border.

Trump also reacted to the decision of a federal judge that on Monday blocked his policy of sending to Mexico the undocumented persons requesting asylum in the United States, so they can wait there for their petition for refuge in US courts to be processed.

"We have a judge who has just determined, incredibly, that people can not stay in Mexico," he lamented.

The president attributed that decision to "a judicial system that never, never" gives him the right ", in particular the courts in California, and considered that tendency" shameful ".

On the other hand, he denied that he plans to "clean the house" in the Department of Homeland Security, where there are strong rumors that he wants to install new leaders of the hardest line, after the departure of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen this weekend.

"We have a lot of very good people there ... We're not going to do anything very big, (but) we need national security," he said.

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