A federal judge in California has ruled that the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border complies with the 2018 ruling that banned separations “absent a determination that the parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child.”
The ruling Monday contradicts claims by the American Civil Liberties Union that Border Patrol agents have continued to “systematically” remove children from their parents at the border without regard to last year’s ruling.
Last summer, the ACLU challenged the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that called for criminal charges to be pressed against anyone who crossed the border illegally.
One of the byproducts of the bold policy was the separation of almost 2,800 immigrant children from their families, which led to an outcry from many on the left, according to CBS News.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of San Diego, overseeing the ACLU’s case, ordered that the administration reunite families and called for stricter limits on reasons officials can separate families at the border.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 20, 2018, saying the federal government will not “detain an alien family together when there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child’s alien parent would pose a risk to the child’s welfare.”
The order said it is “the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.”
Since then, another 1,100 children reportedly have been separated from their families, prompting the ACLU to file a motion saying the administration had ignored Sabraw’s ruling.
The group claimed Border Patrol agents were taking children from individuals with minor traffic violations or other minor infractions, according to Reuters.
However, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have maintained that children are separated from their families only if their parents have a criminal record or infectious disease or if the relationship between the child and the guardian is questionable.
They also say these procedures are no different from those of previous administrations.
Sabraw ruled in favor of the Trump administration on Monday, confirming that, based on the evidence presented in court, officials had not “returned to systematically separating families at the border.”
He said they were “generally exercising their discretion to separate families at the border” in compliance with migrants’ “rights to family integrity and the Court’s orders.”
Not only did Sabraw notice the administration’s compliance with the 2018 ruling, but he also said it has “gone beyond the scope of the Court’s injunction and implemented additional practices related to family separations, such as the Tear Sheet.”
The judge also asserted the ACLU’s call to limit the administration’s ability to separate families at the border “invades an area that is particularly within the province of the Executive Branch to secure the Nation’s border.”
Sabaw did, however, advise the administration to use DNA to back up guardianship concerns.
“The court strongly reaffirmed that the Trump administration bears the burden if it attempts to separate families based on an accusation that the adult is not the child’s parent,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt later said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Author: Kayla Kunkel
Source: Western Journal: Federal Judge Sides with Trump Administration Over ACLU in Family Separation Case