How Trump's executive order on family separations is likely to play out

Under heavy fire from press stories telling half the truth, President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to address family separation of illegal immigrants that will almost certainly be overruled in court.  To untangle the mess of misinformation that has come out over the past few days, we must review the legal history and motivations of the people involved. At that point, the upcoming events in this debate will become somewhat predictable.

To start, there are obvious reasons why apprehended illegal immigrants are entitled to due process, including trials and appeals, prior to deportation.  This can be a lengthy process and takes time. The majority of illegal immigrants will not make bail and will be detained during the process.

The next thing that is important to understand is the RENO v. FLORES settlement agreement from 1997, which states (among other things) that children detained by immigration authorities must be released “without unnecessary delay” to an acceptable recipient, with parents and legal guardians preferred. Facilities, such as those seen on the news, are other options when nothing better is available.  The important takeaway here is that a minor cannot be detained while a parent is awaiting due process. When immigration enforcers find a family that is breaking the law, they legally must either separate the family, release the family, or release the family with a court date, and hope the family appears for a trial they know they will lose.  Given the politically correct term for illegal immigrants I think most readers can see how a pre-trial release of “undocumented” immigrants who have already broken the law once, and don’t have government records to help find them if they fail to appear, will be functionally equivalent to just releasing them.

Now let’s look at the week’s events, when pictures of the approved immigration holding facilities for children that were approved by the Flores settlement agreement made mainstream news.  These pictures included detainee children from the Obama and Trump eras, and very understandably drew the public’s ire. The GOP began drafting a bill to keep families that were arrested and detained together, a solution that would potentially fix this issue without undue risk to the detained children if they are kept in separate facilities from general adult populations, and with other families.

In a recent speech Chuck Schumer, who is ostensibly against separation of families, insisted that he would not vote for any bills allowing families who were arrested together to be in the same detention facility. He said this was because he would rather keep the pressure on President Trump who could make this go away with the flick of a pen.  This should give a reasonable person pause. It should make a reasonable person wonder what Mr. Schumer’s goals are if they aren’t to stop the separation of families. The simple answer was stated plainly by Mr. Schumer, whose goal is to use this media outrage to force President Trump to end his zero-tolerance policy for illegal immigrants.  But the thought of releasing all “undocumented” immigrants travelling with a child they claim to be their own is insane, because it invites smugglers of both drugs and humans to exploit this national security loophole.

Meanwhile, the media has been asking the more obvious question: why are families being separated in the first place? Mr. Schumer’s assertion that this could be fixed with a simple executive order stoked the outrage.  As a result of this lack of understanding of the Flores settlement agreement or else intentional deception, or most likely, a combination of both, the MSM and social media have called for President Trump to end the practice of pre trial separation immediately, for the sake of the children.  Many average Americans believe the only reason families are separated is because President Trump wants to inhumanely punish immigrants.

President Trump spent this week under heavy fire, with many voices insisting on a solution that is ultimately illegal.  Even the Republicans who understood the Flores settlement agreement could not expect the media to give a fair or reasonable explanation of the options available to the president.  Backed into a corner by inaccurate media and Democrats exploiting the outrage, the President made a decision to show not tell, and sign the order. Now the armchair politicians can watch the judicial system take its course. That is why the president has signed an executive order in obvious violation of the Flores settlement agreement.

The near future is fairly obvious.  Over the upcoming weeks, Democratic voters who are currently celebrating a win will turn against the executive order as they realize it did not achieve the DNC goal of ending the zero tolerance policy.  Next, news will surface that, armed with SCOTUS precedents, an appeals court (almost certainly the 9th Circuit of Appeals) will strike down the executive order as illegal. Sometime later, the SCOTUS will almost certainly agree, as the legislative landscape will not change.  The inevitable conclusion from these events is nearly where we are now: President Trump will square off with the DNC again, insisting that lack of legislation allowing families to be detained together is the cause of families being separated. This time, most Americans will understand that an executive order can’t keep families awaiting trial together.  The only question is, will the DNC be honest about their goal of using the familial separation to end zero tolerance, or will they find yet another way to obscure their true goals?

Under heavy fire from press stories telling half the truth, President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to address family separation of illegal immigrants that will almost certainly be overruled in court.  To untangle the mess of misinformation that has come out over the past few days, we must review the legal history and motivations of the people involved. At that point, the upcoming events in this debate will become somewhat predictable.

To start, there are obvious reasons why apprehended illegal immigrants are entitled to due process, including trials and appeals, prior to deportation.  This can be a lengthy process and takes time. The majority of illegal immigrants will not make bail and will be detained during the process.

The next thing that is important to understand is the RENO v. FLORES settlement agreement from 1997, which states (among other things) that children detained by immigration authorities must be released “without unnecessary delay” to an acceptable recipient, with parents and legal guardians preferred. Facilities, such as those seen on the news, are other options when nothing better is available.  The important takeaway here is that a minor cannot be detained while a parent is awaiting due process. When immigration enforcers find a family that is breaking the law, they legally must either separate the family, release the family, or release the family with a court date, and hope the family appears for a trial they know they will lose.  Given the politically correct term for illegal immigrants I think most readers can see how a pre-trial release of “undocumented” immigrants who have already broken the law once, and don’t have government records to help find them if they fail to appear, will be functionally equivalent to just releasing them.

Now let’s look at the week’s events, when pictures of the approved immigration holding facilities for children that were approved by the Flores settlement agreement made mainstream news.  These pictures included detainee children from the Obama and Trump eras, and very understandably drew the public’s ire. The GOP began drafting a bill to keep families that were arrested and detained together, a solution that would potentially fix this issue without undue risk to the detained children if they are kept in separate facilities from general adult populations, and with other families.

In a recent speech Chuck Schumer, who is ostensibly against separation of families, insisted that he would not vote for any bills allowing families who were arrested together to be in the same detention facility. He said this was because he would rather keep the pressure on President Trump who could make this go away with the flick of a pen.  This should give a reasonable person pause. It should make a reasonable person wonder what Mr. Schumer’s goals are if they aren’t to stop the separation of families. The simple answer was stated plainly by Mr. Schumer, whose goal is to use this media outrage to force President Trump to end his zero-tolerance policy for illegal immigrants.  But the thought of releasing all “undocumented” immigrants travelling with a child they claim to be their own is insane, because it invites smugglers of both drugs and humans to exploit this national security loophole.

Meanwhile, the media has been asking the more obvious question: why are families being separated in the first place? Mr. Schumer’s assertion that this could be fixed with a simple executive order stoked the outrage.  As a result of this lack of understanding of the Flores settlement agreement or else intentional deception, or most likely, a combination of both, the MSM and social media have called for President Trump to end the practice of pre trial separation immediately, for the sake of the children.  Many average Americans believe the only reason families are separated is because President Trump wants to inhumanely punish immigrants.

President Trump spent this week under heavy fire, with many voices insisting on a solution that is ultimately illegal.  Even the Republicans who understood the Flores settlement agreement could not expect the media to give a fair or reasonable explanation of the options available to the president.  Backed into a corner by inaccurate media and Democrats exploiting the outrage, the President made a decision to show not tell, and sign the order. Now the armchair politicians can watch the judicial system take its course. That is why the president has signed an executive order in obvious violation of the Flores settlement agreement.

The near future is fairly obvious.  Over the upcoming weeks, Democratic voters who are currently celebrating a win will turn against the executive order as they realize it did not achieve the DNC goal of ending the zero tolerance policy.  Next, news will surface that, armed with SCOTUS precedents, an appeals court (almost certainly the 9th Circuit of Appeals) will strike down the executive order as illegal. Sometime later, the SCOTUS will almost certainly agree, as the legislative landscape will not change.  The inevitable conclusion from these events is nearly where we are now: President Trump will square off with the DNC again, insisting that lack of legislation allowing families to be detained together is the cause of families being separated. This time, most Americans will understand that an executive order can’t keep families awaiting trial together.  The only question is, will the DNC be honest about their goal of using the familial separation to end zero tolerance, or will they find yet another way to obscure their true goals?