The president’s platform regarding immigration has been controversial from his earliest days as a candidate. The recent escalation in the spring of 2018 now involves more aggressive actions from the administration in separating detained asylum seekers from their children.
The May 26 tweet explained
Then came a presidential tweet on May 26 blaming the Democrats in government for this policy because of “loopholes” in the law, which the administration claims are forcing officials to separate families at the border as part of its new zero-tolerance policy. While the government prosecutes the parents for allegedly entering the country illegally, the children are turned over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
“The loopholes that [the Democrats] fight so hard to protect are the source, cause and reason for the humanitarian conditions,” said White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller to USA Today.
The administration claims that those helping families illegally cross the border are taking advantage of laws, which many believe to be true. The administration believes that closing these loopholes will discourage illegal immigration of families and asylum seekers. A change in the law, officials said, could discourage asylum seekers from coming or potentially turn them around at the border.
Many of these laws have been on the books for years
The four main reasons why these loopholes are in place involve many lawmakers:
- A 1997 agreement put a 20-day limit how long undocumented families can be held in detention. President Clinton and the Justice Department brokered this.
- The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act was passed unanimously by the Senate and the House and signed into law by President Bush in 2008.
- A Supreme Court ruling in 2001 put an end to the practice of indefinite detentions for undocumented immigrants facing deportation to home countries that would not accept them.
- U.S. asylum laws go back decades and include international agreements. The current asylum system in the U.S. was part of the Refugee Act of 1980, which was sponsored by Republican Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas and approved by the Republican-controlled Senate and House.
Legally seeking asylum is the best option
The qualifications for seeking asylum involve those who are being persecuted for their beliefs, race or nationality. When people flee from their country of origin because of persecution, the United States has traditionally offered safe haven. However, it is always advisable to seek asylum through legal channels with help from a law firm who has extensive experience in this area.