(FixThisNation.com) – Donald Trump, looking towards a potential return to the presidency, has suggested he might intensify immigration measures, including possibly revisiting the divisive policy of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, several of Trump’s allies and former officials have expressed reservations about this approach.
Conversations with five such individuals revealed a shared concern about bringing back the 2018 “zero tolerance” policy that led to widespread family separations at the border. This policy had previously sparked significant public backlash.
Tom Homan, a potential member of a new Trump administration, proposed an alternative: keeping families together in residential centers during legal proceedings to avoid the turmoil associated with separations.
As the likely Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential race, Trump has made border security a central theme of his campaign, vowing to reinforce and expand his previous administration’s stringent immigration policies.
Trump’s advocacy for the efficacy of family separations, both in a CNN town hall and in an interview with Univision, has been met with criticism from President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, which characterizes these policies as “extreme.”
Activists in civil rights circles have raised alarms over Trump’s comments, preparing to legally contest any revival of the policy.
Handling the significant number of families crossing the border illegally continues to challenge both Republican and Democratic administrations. The Biden administration has particularly grappled with unprecedented levels of illegal crossings, including a notable increase in family units.
Initiated by the Trump administration in April 2018, the “zero tolerance” policy aimed to deter illegal border crossings by separating children from their parents, who were prosecuted. Due to intense backlash, the policy was discontinued in June 2018, and Trump shifted towards a strategy of detaining families together, albeit limited by a 2015 court order.
Biden’s campaign is using Trump’s former separation policy as a point of contention, underscoring its lack of popularity among Americans. Trump’s previous officials, such as Homan and Chad Wolf, his former acting homeland chief, approach the idea of revisiting family separations cautiously, suggesting other methods or additional safeguards.
If family separations were to be reinstated, legal obstacles would likely ensue. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is prepared to enforce a ban on such practices, as per ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt.
Mark Morgan, a senior border official under Trump, doubts that a new Trump administration would implement a family separation policy in the same manner as before, pointing to the “remain in Mexico” policy as a preferable option. This policy, which the Biden administration has tried to terminate, required certain non-Mexican migrants to stay in Mexico while their U.S. cases were resolved. It coincided with a reduction in border apprehensions. Trump has committed to reinstating this policy should he win the election.
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