In response to Donald Trump’s refusal to rule out bringing back his cruel family separation policies, DNC National Press Secretary Sarafina Chitika released the following statement:

“Donald Trump’s signature immigration policy was to rip children from their parents’ arms, and even as families are still reeling from the trauma of his cruelty, he is leaving the door open to bringing it back. Republicans have repeatedly refused to join Democrats to come up with real solutions, and instead are embracing Trump’s depraved immigration agenda every step of the way. The American people were sickened by what they saw under the first Trump administration and rejected his morally bankrupt leadership in 2020, and they will do so again in 2024.” 

New reporting shows that Donald Trump refuses to rule out reviving his cruel immigration policy of separating parents from their children at the border. 

Semafor: “On Family Separation. Trump defended his policy of separating parents and children at the border, which sparked one of the largest outcries of his presidency before it was stopped by an executive order and court decision.

“‘When you hear that you’re going to be separated from your family you don’t come,’ Trump said. ‘When you think you’re going to come into the United States with your family, you come.’

“He continued: ‘We did family separation. A lot of people didn’t come. It stopped people from coming by their hundreds of thousands because when they hear family separation, they say ‘Well, we better not go.’’”

New York Times: “Former President Donald J. Trump is planning an extreme expansion of his first-term crackdown on immigration if he returns to power in 2025 — including preparing to round up undocumented people already in the United States on a vast scale and detain them in sprawling camps while they wait to be expelled. The plans would sharply restrict both legal and illegal immigration in a multitude of ways.”

“Mr. Trump wants to revive his first-term border policies, including banning entry by people from certain Muslim-majority nations and reimposing a Covid 19-era policy of refusing asylum claims — though this time he would base that refusal on assertions that migrants carry other infectious diseases like tuberculosis.”

“Mr. Trump and his aides have not yet said whether they would re-enact one of the most contentious deterrents to unauthorized immigration that he pursued as president: separating children from their parents, which led to trauma among migrants and difficulties in reuniting families. When pressed, Mr. Trump has repeatedly declined to rule out reviving the policy.”

Trump continues to defend his egregious immigration policies, which have had a lasting traumatic impact on the immigration system and the families involved. 

The Guardian: “The US government’s policy of separating migrant families at the border has continued to wreak havoc and inflict suffering in the final months of Donald Trump’s presidency, with parents still missing, reunifications blocked and reunited families struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives.”

CNN: “Since the administration backtracked its ‘zero tolerance’ policy, migrants have faced insurmountable challenges to claim asylum, have been required to stay in Mexico in deplorable conditions for their immigration hearing in the United States and, most recently, have been swiftly returned after being encountered at the southern border as a result of a public health order linked to the coronavirus pandemic — to name a few. The desperation of some waiting in Mexico for their US immigration proceedings — a policy informally known as ‘remain in Mexico’ — also led to more than 300 children crossing the border alone despite initially arriving with parents or relatives.”

Arizona Republic: “The Trump administration’s 2018 family separation policy at the southern border was marked by ‘reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty,’ the House Judiciary Committee concluded in a scathing report released Thursday. The report was based on internal documents and emails not previously made public. It shows that a pilot program implemented in the El Paso area during a five-month period in 2017 revealed that the Trump administration lacked the ability to track children and parents separated at the border.”

Ron DeSantis has not only refused to acknowledge Trump’s role in separating families, but he also refrained from pushing back against the Trump administration’s efforts to detain migrant children. 

McDermott: “Mr. DeSantis, we’ve got this caravan of people coming to the southern border again seeking political asylum. It’s a big news story right now. They’re in Mexico. You’re on record saying you don’t approve of the family separation policy. How will you respond as governor if the federal policy of taking kids from their parents and bringing those children here to Florida to be held continues?”

DeSantis: “Well, look, I mean, I have to see what my options are.”

The Florida Times-Union: “While DeSantis expressed a desire Monday to keep families together, he did not pin the problem on Trump and his administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to illegal immigration. Instead, in an interview after the event, he joined other Republicans in pointing to a court settlement as the root cause of the problem, along with the amount of time it takes to seek asylum. ‘The reason why the policy is, is because there’s this Flores consent decree which says a minor cannot be held longer than 20 days, so if someone is claiming asylum the cases are not adjudicated within 20 and so then they’ll go ahead and relocate the child somewhere,’ DeSantis said.”

As U.N. ambassador, Haley fired back against international outcry against Trump’s cruel and inhumane family separation policies – and did a poor job of attempting to distance herself from them years later. 

CNN: “US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley rebuked the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for ‘hypocrisy’ in its call for an end to a Trump administration policy that could lead to the separation of families detained on the US southern border. 

“‘Once again, the United Nations shows its hypocrisy by calling out the United States while it ignores the reprehensible human rights records of several members of its own Human Rights Council,’ Haley said in a statement Tuesday. … Haley’s statement comes after the human rights office earlier Tuesday expressed ‘deep concern’ for the US’ ‘zero-tolerance policy’ during a press briefing in Geneva, saying ‘the practice of separating families amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child.’”

Politico: “Friends of Haley say she was genuinely surprised, upon joining the administration and immersing herself in the realm of geopolitics, at how often her instincts aligned with Trump’s. (‘On his policy, I agree with everything that he’s done,’ she told me in one interview, an assertion she walked back only slightly when I mentioned deliberate family separation at the southern border.)”

And Trump’s MAGA minions in both chambers of Congress threw their support behind his shameful family separation policy – and former speaker candidate Rep. Jim Jordan has even called to bring Trump’s border policies back. 

Rep. Jim Jordan: “Let’s go back to President Trump’s policies, which we know worked, which had the situation under control. We heard that time and time again from Border Patrol agents. Let’s go back to those policies and get that situation under control.”

Dallas Morning News: “Sen. Ted Cruz defended the Trump administration’s policy of separating parents from children when they’re caught crossing the border illegally, saying that while such cases can be tragic, it’s ‘inevitable’ when people violate U.S. law.”

Pinal Central: “Democrats at the hearing said the administration didn’t ‘think about the repercussions and the trauma’ it would cause. The policy ‘never should have happened,’ said Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif. But many Republicans on the committee were like Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, who defended the policy, saying that adults who crossed the border illegally had committed a crime and should be punished. Biggs said the Trump administration’s actions had stopped what he called the ‘catch and release’ approach to immigration enforcement, which he said served as a ‘magnet for people to come into this country illegally.’” 

Pinal Central: “Another committee member, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, also defended the program … Gosar was not impressed [by Biden’s executive order to reunite families], calling Biden’s efforts to end family separation nothing more than ‘window dressing.’ ‘Simply halting the separation of children at the border is the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound,’ Gosar said Thursday.”

Texas Tribune: “Texas Rep. Chip Roy of Austin, the subcommittee’s top Republican, offered his condolences to Juárez and said in Spanish that ‘there are no words.’ But he accused Democrats of attempting to ‘score political points’ by claiming children are held in ‘cages’ while in U.S. custody at the border. ‘I’ve been to the border many times, and to this day I have never seen a kid in a cage,’ Roy said, adding that both parties should work to solve the crisis at the southern border. ‘We demean the process and our Border Patrol agents … when we call them cages.’”

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