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Trump Has Wanted to Reinstate Family Separation Policy For Months Now, According to Three Sources

Trump Has Wanted to Reinstate Family Separation Policy For Months Now, According to Three Sources

At least three government sources have told NBC News reporters that President Donald Trump has been pushing a reinstatement of a controversial child separation immigration policy that he ended through an executive order last summer amid growing criticism at the time.

EL PASO, TEXAS, JUAREZ, MEXICO BORDER – MAY 12: Immigrant families separated by immigration status, lack of visas, or deportations, are briefly reunited in no man’s land on the U.S.-Mexico border on May 12, 2018, in the dry Rio Grande riverbed in-between Mexico and the United States. The opening of the border is called Hugs Not Walls, an annual one day event organized by the Border Network for Human Rights and reunites hundreds of families for only a few minutes at a time. Families coming from the United States wear blue shirts and families from Mexico wear white shirts, and are closely monitored by volunteers and border patrol agents. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

NBC News’ Geoff Bennett and Julia Ainsley uncovered the revelations, which Bennett tweeted out on Monday morning, detailing how the president had pushed for the measure to be implemented yet again.

“President Trump has for months now urged his administration to reinstate large-scale separation of migrant families crossing the border, according to three U.S. officials with knowledge of meetings at the White House,” Bennett tweeted.

According to the two reporters, outgoing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who announced her resignation over the weekend, was vehemently opposed to the idea, citing the fact that it violated Trump’s own executive order he made last summer in reaction to the controversy.

Nielsen also said reinstatement of the policy wouldn’t hold up in the courts, Bennett wrote.

Bennett also tweeted out his and Ainsley’s reporting uncovered that Trump was “convinced that family separation” had been “the most effective policy at deterring large numbers of asylum seekers” from attempting to enter the country. Trump has been trying to get the policy reinstated since at least January, Bennett said.

The policy, when it was being implemented, was responsible for dislocating several thousand children of immigrants, who were separated by government officials upon the families crossing the southern U.S. border, NBC News previously reported.

The process of reuniting these families will be a lengthy one. It will likely take up to two years, government lawyers for the U.S. have suggested.

Per previous reporting from HillReporter.com, some believe that outgoing Sec. Nielsen was the anonymous author from within the White House of a New York Times op-ed decrying the Trump administration’s actions. Observers noted similarities in writing patterns between that op-ed and her resignation letter, although there has been no confirmation as yet that she was the author of the Times piece.

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