The Most Important Recommendation for Ending Family Separation is to End Policies That Create the Problem, Says FAIR
(January 11, 2022, Washington, D.C.) — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created an interagency task force to address the issue of families that were separated as they attempt to migrate illegally into the United States. In response to a request for public input, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) submitted a comment urging the department to end a host of policies that encourage adult migrants to traffic children illegally across the border and that increase illegal immigration into the United States.
“The focus of the task force seems to be on how to reunite families that have been separated as a result of their decision to enter the United States illegally,” observed Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “Rather, the emphasis here should be on ending numerous incentives that encourage migrants to risk family separation in the expectation that some, if not all, family members will be allowed to remain in the United States. The goal should be to prevent family separation from happening at all.”
To properly prevent family separation, FAIR says DHS must:
- Fully reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or otherwise implement section 235(b)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
- End the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement;
- Increase DHS’s family detention capacity;
- Reunite unaccompanied alien minors with their families in their home countries;
- Rescind non-enforcement policies and resume worksite enforcement;
- Reform the asylum system and require officers to apply mandatory bars to asylum and withholding of removal in credible fear screenings;
- Terminate the unlawful DACA program; and
- Maintain “Last In, First Out” asylum processing priorities.
“The likelihood of prompt release from detention and the availability of employment authorization has caused the number of family units illegally crossing the border to skyrocket to crisis levels in the past decade and, most drastically, in 2021,” said Stein in the comment. “If inadmissible aliens are unable to be released into the United States until they are granted asylum and expect DHS to vigorously enforce immigration law, the number of apprehensions and fraudulent credible fear claims made by family units will drop significantly. The only way to permanently end family separation is to eliminate the pull factors that encourage family units to enter United States illegally.”
“While the Biden interagency task force will undoubtedly focus on ways to repair the damage caused by their own policies, and ill-conceived policies of previous administrations, a far wiser approach would be to end those policies and fix broken laws. If you really want to end family separation – and we all do – then the best approach is preventing these tragic situations from occurring in the first place,” Stein concluded.
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