Fri. May 24th, 2024

Trump remains vague on pursuing family separation policies in a second term

By 37ci3 Apr4,2024

During a speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan this week, Donald Trump said he wanted to “pay tribute” to a man he greatly respects.

Trump thanked Tom Homan, who served as the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Trump administration and has since become a frequent commentator on Fox News.

“He’s a human being,” Trump said, adding, “He was wonderful on TV. He was so respectful of what we did as an administration.”

Homan was an early supporter of the administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy, which resulted in at least 5,500 families being separated at the southern border in 2018 before Trump himself signed an executive order ending the practice after a backlash from rights groups. Homan now heads Border911, a nonprofit group that warns about the potential threat posed by undocumented immigrants.

On Thursday, the former president is set to see her again at his Mar-a-Lago mansion, hosted by Border911. according to flyer Matt Whitaker, who served as chief of staff at the Justice Department when “zero tolerance” was introduced, will be among those promoting the event. Whitaker later testified to Congress as acting attorney general that he had no plans to reunite the families.

Trump’s openly militant relationship with the group — and his increased focus on migrants and crime on the campaign trail — provides one of the clearest windows into a potential second term and the tough lines he could set for the Department of Homeland Security. immigration laws.

At campaign rallies and in interviews with Newsmax and Fox News, Trump said he would bring Homan and others back to a potential second administration “to have great border security.”

Another participant expected Thursday night, according to the invitation, is Rodney Scott, who served as the chief of the Border Patrol during Trump’s tenure last year and has advocated for “zero tolerance,” arguing that it has been effective in slowing migration. As NBC News previously reportedScott explored the idea of ​​placing buoys in the Rio Grande to deter migrants years before Texas actually did it.

Trump has developed an aggressive immigration platform for a second term: mass deportations; to restore the entire border policy of the first period; deploy all necessary military assets, including the US Navy, to enforce a full naval embargo on drug cartels; Directing the Department of Defense to use special forces, cyber warfare, and other covert and overt actions to disrupt cartel leadership and infrastructure; designation of major drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations; and asks Congress to ensure that drug traffickers and traffickers receive the death penalty.

His campaign also said Trump would sign an executive order on his first day in office to “stop federal agencies from granting automatic U.S. citizenship to the children of illegal aliens” and stop “birth tourism.” He would also prefer to block federal grants for so-called “urban cities.”

One policy that Trump has not promised is a return to “zero tolerance” or family separations. To date, hundreds and possibly more than 1,000 families separated under zero tolerance remain separated, according to Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents separated families in the class action. The policy separated families who crossed the border together and federally prosecuted parents while sending children into the care of the Department of Health and Human Services.

However, Trump refused to show a clear position on the issue. When asked during a CNN town hall in May if he would reinstate the policy, he didn’t answer directly.

“When you have this policy, people don’t come,” he said. “If a family hears they’re going to leave, they love their family, they don’t come.”

Asked if that meant he would reinstate his policy, Trump said: “No. When we tell a family that if you come, we will tear you apart, they don’t come. And we can’t afford to have more.”

In a separate interview with Univision in November 2023, Trump said: “We have separated the family. Not many people came. It prevented people from coming.”

Trump campaign spokeswoman Danielle Alvarez did not respond to requests for comment on the former president’s stance on family separation in his second term; Instead, he gave a pass to Trump’s broad immigration platform.

The spokesperson also did not respond to a question about the Border911 incident at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday night. Individual tickets for the event range from $1,200 to $5,000, depending on the invitation. Tables of 10 cost up to $50,000.

The Border911 Foundation received a charitable tax exemption from the IRS last August. But IRS rules are very clear that charities cannot support candidates, saying in their guidelines that charities are “strictly prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in or interfering with any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate. for elected public office”. The IRS can revoke a charity’s status if there are violations, according to the agency’s website. At this point, it’s unclear how organizers will introduce Trump at the event at Mar-a-Lago.

Questions about Border911’s tax exemption The first information about this was published by ABC News.

Neither Homan nor an attorney for Border911 could be reached for comment.

Polls show voters consistently give Trump a better job on border security than Biden. Still, the Biden campaign has been eager to point out what it sees as the Trump administration’s inhumane immigration policies.

“As president, Donald Trump has separated families, separated mothers from their children,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, who co-chaired the Biden campaign. “Now he’s campaigning with the architects of the same cruel and un-American family separation policy, and there’s little doubt he’d bring it back if given the chance.”

Immigrant advocates worry about what Trump’s re-election will mean not just at the border, but for undocumented immigrants in the nation’s inner cities, as well as DACA recipients. A program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — DACA — protects undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation. Beatriz Lopez, deputy director of the Immigration Center, an advocacy organization, said Thursday’s event at Mar-a-Lago was a sign of things to come in the second Trump administration.

“When he says immigrants are animals, I take it very seriously,” he said. “It means he’s going to treat them like animals, and that’s a very, very disturbing idea that we should all see as a real threat to our democracy.”

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