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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Trump rectifies on parents and children separation at border

Por MRod

Politically cornered by the widespread indignation that caused the forced removal of thousands of parents and children, Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to end this procedure that until a day before, he qualified as inevitable. "It's about keeping families together while making sure we have a strong border," the president said when announcing the decision in the White House.

The United States president however, sought to limit the scope of his retreat, warning that he maintains the "zero tolerance" that involves criminally prosecuting adult immigrants who cross the border with Mexico without papers, mostly from Latin America. But instead of separating them from their children while their trials are being processed - as he has done in recent weeks by alienating some 2,300 of his parents - the government will seek to keep families together indefinitely.

The change comes in the face of a growing clamor for images and audios of children crying during border arrests or in detention centers, with political or moral questions from outside, even from Trump's allies. "This looks like a dramatic turnaround, but the Trump government was in its most politically difficult position," says Mark Peterson, a professor of political science and law at the University of California, Los Angeles, to BBC Mundo. But nothing indicates that the president has managed to completely deactivate this crisis: in fact, he did not even stipulate that families already separated can rejoin immediately. From the very beginning of his term, Trump marked as a priority the fight against undocumented immigration, with an aggressive rhetoric that has earned him accusations of xenophobia and racism.

The objective of this policy is to stop an increase in border crossings that has angered Trump, who until this week justified the policy of separation of families."I do not want children removed from parents, and when you prosecute parents for coming illegally, something must be done, you have to take the children out," the president said Tuesday. Trump falsely accused the Democratic opposition of being responsible for family separations, for refusing to pass the immigration laws he claims. Hoever, his executive order on Tuesday shows that he can define how he treats undocumented immigrants. Trump is accused by the opposition of having used immigrant children to pressure Congress. Simultaneously, the measure adopted by Trump on Wednesday left several doubts open.

To begin with, government officials have ruled out that the executive order allows a soon reunion of the families that were already separated, and their future would depend on the legal processes open to adults. On the other hand, the government is legally barred from keeping minors in family detention centers for more than 20 days. Trump wants to keep the families detained together indefinitely, but if that means more than 20 days then it would require judicial authorization. What would happen to minors if that authorization is rejected? Would they be separated from their parents anyway? These are just some of the questions to be answered.