Melania Trump to visit immigrant children holding centres

Howard TerryJun 29, 2018

More than 2,300 migrant children, including infants and toddlers, have been forcibly separated from their parents at the border under Trump's "zero tolerance" stance on illegal immigration.

"We were representing a 3-year-old in court recently who had been separated from the parents".

What did the White House say?

Mexico Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray says that his country's government will propose a resolution before the Organization of American States on Friday condemning the United States' policy of separating children from parents who have entered the country illegally. He said he can't recall a case where the agency placed a child with a parent or relative who was in detention.

In a complaint filed with the USA district court in Seattle, the states called President Donald Trump's June 20 executive order purporting to suspend the separations " illusory".

In a separate action, 17 states, including Washington, New York and California, are suing Trump's administration in an effort to force officials to reunite migrant families.

The Texas Tribune reported that leaders at three legal services organisations and a private firm confirmed that children are being served with notices to appear in court.

Melania Trump's surprise visit Thursday to children held at the US-Mexico border was overshadowed by her choice of apparel.

Before Trump issued his order last week, more than 2,300 children had been separated from their parents under his policy.

Meanwhile, the president continues to call for immediate deportation, saying that immigrants who cross the border illegally should be turned around to return to their home, not afforded due process.

The complaint says Trump's policy is wrongfully using the terror of child-separation as leverage to discourage would-be asylum-seekers from entering the USA, citing a June 17 remark by Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway on NBC's "Meet the Press".

Democrats have harshly criticized the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, which has resulted in the separation of migrant families.

A 1997 court settlement known as the Flores agreement set policy for the detention of minors in the custody of immigration officials and a federal appeals court has interpreted it to allow immigration officials to detain families for only 20 days.

While the CBP chief said that the administration's "zero tolerance" policy is still in place, authorities have to figure out how to resume prosecutions without separating children from their parents. "We don't know how the judge's order is going to play out with reunification of children".

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said the policy is "irrationally discriminatory" and in violation of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

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