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Trump Newest Policy on Family Detention Puts a Fig Leaf on Yesterday’s Policy, Fails to End Detention or Reunite Families Already Split

National Council of Jewish Women
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Trump Newest Policy on Family Detention Puts a Fig Leaf on Yesterday’s Policy, Fails to End Detention or Reunite Families Already Split

June 21, 2018, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) reacts to President Trump executive order that goes only far enough to change the headlines for the moment, but not far enough to end the administration’s “zero tolerance” approach and restore a reasonable and humane policy toward families he has torn apart. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“Bowing to political pressure and the overwhelming opposition of the American people to his cruel policy of tearing children from the arms of their parents for separate detention, President Trump has issued an order designed to end only the most visible and egregious part of his admitted scheme to use the plight of families on our border to force Congress to address an immigration crisis he himself created. The order seeks to detain families together, but will likely violate the 20-day time limits for detaining children that resulted from a 1997 immigration court case.

“The order does nothing to reunite families already split apart by the federal government. Detained families are now mired in a bureaucratic nightmare, at the mercy of the Department of Health and Human Services whose job it now is to locate children sent away as far as New York state and bring them back to their parents still in detention. Some parents have already been deported while their children remain behind. The chaotic handling of the whole sordid affair inspires no faith in the success of such efforts, if they are indeed made.

“Meanwhile, neither of two Republican proposals in Congress appear to have majority support. Like the president’s new executive action, they fail to address the root cause of so much upheaval — the so-called ‘zero tolerance’ enforcement policy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April. That policy calls for the arrest of anyone entering the US illegally — it is not clear what DOJ means by that word. The bills also don’t grapple successfully with other pending issues, such as ending the impasse over the Dreamers or the president’s desire for a wall along the Mexican border.

“This has been a malevolent episode in US history. It is not clear how long it will be before it will end and moral order will be restored.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

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