Family Separation

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Five U.S. representatives and a U.S. senator Friday toured one of four facilities in Westchester County holding migrant children separated from their families. Despite the Trump administration’s claims, the Democratic lawmakers say they do not see families being reunified.

Today's Panel presents a conversaton about immigration.

Immigration has been a touchstone of the U.S. political debate for decades, as policymakers weigh competing economic, security, and humanitarian concerns. Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on comprehensive immigration reform for years.

Shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump signed executive orders on border security, interior enforcement, and refugees. In mid-2017, Trump rescinded two programs created by President Obama to shield undocumented children and their parents from deportation. Most recently, a “Zero-Tolerance” policy was implemented causing children to be separated from their parents at the border.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Three Democratic members of Congress who together represent Westchester came together Saturday outside a facility in the county that is housing migrant children. Denied entry, the officials called on the Trump administration to immediately reunite children separated from their families who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

Marcus Molinaro
WAMC/Allison Dunne

The Republican candidate for New York governor, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, says he agrees with incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo that President Trump’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents is wrong, but he says there are issues with caring for children in New York that Cuomo is ignoring. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo says there are as many as 700 immigrant children in child care services in New York, and he’s demanding that state health care professionals have access to them, saying under New York’s constitution, the state is responsible for their welfare.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order today ending the process of separating children from families after they are detained crossing the U.S. border illegally. It was a dramatic turnaround for Trump, who has been insisting, wrongly, that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of federal law and a court decision. It is not clear what any reunification plans may be, or what will happen with the immigrant children who were placed in various facilities, including one in Kingston, New York. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Ulster County Executive Mike Hein about the situation.

House Appropriations Committee Ranking Democrat Nita Lowey of New York, along with ranking House Democrats on three subcommittees, have written to their Republican counterparts, regarding the Trump administration’s family separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Rep. Peter Welch
photo provided

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch traveled to McAllen and Brownsville, Texas on Sunday to see firsthand the detention centers created as a result of the Trump Administration’s enforcement of family separation policies. Upon arriving at a former WalMart housing about 1,500 boys, the at-large Democrat tweeted that it was “shameful.”  Welch says he and other Congressional representatives saw children separated from parents and parents separated from children.