New DHS policy to discourage illegal immigration: Separate families at border

The Department of Homeland Security has implemented a new policy of separating families at U.S. borders as a means of discouraging illegal immigration.

The policy has already spurred at least one lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against DHS on behalf of a Congolese mother and daughter who were separated by immigration authorities at the San Ysidro, Calif., point of entry near San Diego.

The ACLU claims that the woman’s constitutional right to due process was violated when DHS detained her at the point of entry while detaining her seven-year-old daughter some 2,000 miles away at a refugee resettlement center in Chicago.

The Obama administration had a policy of detaining families at a holding center in Texas while their cases were heard by immigration courts.

However, the Trump administration has adopted a harsher tactic of arresting illegal immigrant parents who paid human traffickers to smuggle their children into the U.S.

According to one report:

The practice of separating undocumented families to discourage them from coming to the U.S. is not a formal, stated policy of the Trump administration. But immigrant activists say it has been quietly growing in frequency along the southern border. [source]

Analysis: As harsh as it sounds, the Trump administration appears to have adopted a philosophy that it’s better to make it less attractive to attempt to cross illegally into the U.S. rather than wait until the crossing occurs before dealing with the problem. That’s very proactive. It’s also better for the country and safer for the migrant.

The Trump administration is attempting to convey the message that there is a new administration in Washington — one that campaigned on dramatically reducing illegal immigration while cracking down on those already here illegally. The sooner that message gets out to the world, the better for all concerned. 

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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