What's been happening at the southern border? Part 1

posted by Claudia Mendoza - 

The illegal immigration issue reached a fever pitch last week. I spent time looking to get to the bottom of what's real and what isn't when it comes to illegal immigration policy. The following are important facts that emerged during the course of my research last week. First, existing immigration laws were enacted in 1955, this means that the separation of families has been US policy under every administration as needed since 1955. 

Subsequently, the separation policy was carried out as recently as 2016 under the Obama administration. Two years ago, in June of 2016, the United States was using over 100 facilities to house illegal immigrants including the child facility in Homestead. On April 6th of this year, the Justice Department enacted a zero-tolerance policy for the processing of illegal immigrants. This means that only those properly seeking asylum would be granted the consideration for it. The full enforcement of the law was the only change that occurred under the Trump administration until President Trump's executive order to attempt to prevent family separation.

President Trump's executive order was immediately met with a lawsuit from the ACLU claiming the order to be illegal. This is probably because the separation policy is the law of the land and likely can't legally be altered by executive action. The zero-tolerance policy was designed to discourage the surge of illegal immigration, including by unaccompanied minors, at the southern border.

The DHS indicated that we'd seen an increase of 325% of unaccompanied minors and greater than 400% of alleged family units illegally attempting to cross the southern border.

While very little, if any, of that information, was shared through the mainstream media generally it's critical for the context of how we got here. What's happening and what's required for those desirous of reforms. In the second part of today's story, I'll break down the surge at the southern border to put in context why this issue is seemingly worse than it has been in years.  

Photo By: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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