Mary Curtis: Family Separation at The Border

Is it a policy or a law?


Can Washington Advance Policies that Secure the Border Humanely?

The images of children behind chain-link walls and audio of children crying for parents have touched hearts around the country and the world. Administrations and legislators of both parties have struggled with uncertain and unsettled immigration policy. But since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced “zero-tolerance” this year, Trump administration policy has separated children from parents on our Southern border as their asylum cases work their way through the legal system.

Sessions said he hoped the policy would be a deterrent to those wanting to enter the country illegally, but has it been, and does that mean holding children as pawns in search of a broader immigration bill?

President Trump met with GOP Congressional leaders on Tuesday, with many saying no agreement was reached. (Mary C. Curtis)

Talking points:

–Is it a policy or a law? There has been confusion coming from Sessions, chief of staff John Kelly, the president and the head of the Department of Homeland Security.

–Are all asylum seekers crossing illegally, or are some crossing at points designed for entry?

–What do the American people think in polls?

–What are church leaders, Catholic bishops, Trump allies such as the Rev. Franklin Graham, saying, especially after Sessions used the Bible to justify the policy? What are doctors saying about the effect on parents and especially, young children?

–What are current and former First Ladies saying?

–Will Congress react with a bill, and will any bill gain widespread, bipartisan support? Some proposals deal with the family separation crisis while others seek funding for a wall and limiting legal immigration?

–Where does a DACA compromise fit in?