ACLU: Trump Administration Continues to Separate Families at the Border
Donald Trump’s family separation act wreaked havoc on the US/Mexican border for much of 2018. The act has been challenged in multiples instances and is being fought in court all over the country.
While the cases are being heard, children are still being taken away from those who are meant to care for them. According to the ACLU, the US is still unilaterally separating minors from their guardians.
Despite an executive order ending the practice, one Texas courthouse has had 272 cases of family separation since June. In a number of these cases, children were separated because they were not with their biological parents. In most instances, they were accompanied by a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other family member.
US Customs and Border Patrol says they are following protocol from Homeland Security. The Homeland Security Act states, “(it) does not make concessions for anyone other than a parent or legal guardian.”
Lee Gelernt, a lawyer for the ACLU, counters, “What’s happening is the government is doing separations unilaterally without any process to contest the separations and without a child welfare expert overseeing the separations.”
This order also allows CBP to separate families when no legal guardianship agreement is made. Gelernt continues, “Those are very difficult situations, especially because the government takes the position that it is not their responsibility to reunite them because they are not the legal guardian.”
While the family separation act was a political disaster for the White House, they are still using the practice as a deterrent. The White House has not commented on the ACLU’s claims.