International Relations Prelims cum Mains

Trump backs down, agrees to executive action to stop family separation of illegal immigrants

The News

  • Trump administration finally agreed to end the practice of forcibly separating children from immigrants crossing the border illegally into the United States.



  • Illegal migrants and asylum seekers have been the core issue of Trump administration.
  • Under the previous US administration, undocumented immigrants caught at border for the first time were issued summons, but most of the migrants never showed up for court.
  • President Trump applied a zero-tolerance policy as part of a strategy to completely squeeze out immigration that would bring in more minorities, all with the eventual aim of extending white primacy
  • Approx 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults from in April and May, 2018.
  • The children, separated from the families, were held in government facilities, released to adult sponsors or placed in temporary foster care.
  • The separations were not broken down by age and included separations for illegal entry, immigration violations or possible criminal conduct by the adult.
  • Over the past several days, a heated public debate has raged over Trump administration’s policy towards migrant children. The policy has been widely criticized by church groups, politicians and children’s advocates who call it inhumane.
  • President Trump reversed his position that only legislation supported by Democrats could end the practice, which his administration had instituted. Trump signed an executive order ending the policy of separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border, following days of outrage from the public and politicians about the policy.


What is zero tolerance policy?

  • Under a zero tolerance policy, all those apprehended entering the United States illegally, including those seeking asylum, would be criminally charged.
  • The US protocol also prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with the crime, which generally leads to them being separated from their families.


Will this executive order end the zero tolerance policy?

  • The order does not end a zero tolerance policy that calls for criminal prosecution of immigrants crossing the border illegally.
  • The order requires that immigrant families be detained together when they are caught entering the country illegally, although it was not immediately clear for how long.


Criticism of Trump’s Zero tolerance Policy by various eminent personalities

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