Saturday 25 May 2019

No courts or judges needed on migrants: Trump

No fan of the court system: President Donald Trump. Photo: AP
No fan of the court system: President Donald Trump. Photo: AP

Rob Crilly

Donald Trump fired up his supporters yesterday by calling for suspected illegal immigrants to be immediately deported without judicial process.

In a pair of tweets sent during the drive to his Virginia golf course, the US president piled pressure on the Republicans in Congress in advance of a vote on immigration this week.

"We cannot allow all of these people to invade our country," he tweeted. "When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no judges or court cases, bring them back from where they came."

Mr Trump, elected on a platform of clamping down on undocumented immigrants, also labelled the US system "a mockery to good immigration policy and law and order".

Meanwhile, Trump administration officials insist the US government knows the location of all children in its custody after separating them from their families at the border and is working to reunite them.

A fact sheet on "zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification", released on Saturday night by the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies involved in the separations, also says a parent must request that their child be deported with them. In the past, the agency says, many parents elected to be deported without their children. That may be a reflection of violence or persecution they face in their home countries.

The fact sheet doesn't state how long it might take to reunite families. The Port Isabel Service Processing Centre in Texas has been set up as the staging ground for the families to be reunited prior to deportation.

The latest actions come after President Trump's order last week to stop separating migrant children from their parents. The executive order signed on Wednesday immediately spread confusion along the border, with officials sending conflicting signals about the state of the administration's "zero tolerance" policy. Some parents said they did not even know where their children were.

How the government would reunite families has been unclear because the families are first stopped by Customs and Border Patrol, with children taken into custody by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and adults detained through Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Children have been sent to shelters around the country, raising alarm that parents might never know where their children can be found.

As of last Wednesday, 2,053 minors who were separated at the border were being cared for in HHS-funded facilities, the fact sheet said.

Since Mr Trump's order, protests have erupted around the country over the separations and the future of families arriving in the US illegally.

The fact sheet states the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has implemented an identification mechanism to ensure on-going tracking of linked family members throughout the detention and removal process.

Irish Independent

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