Executive Order Does Not Help Families Separated At Border, Said Durbin

June 21, 2018
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin

Daniel Baker/Illinois Public Media

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said President Trump’s executive order ending his family separation policy does nothing to help over 2,000 children already separated from their parents at the US--Mexico border.

Speaking on the Senate floor, the Illinois Democrat said the order would also detain families together indefinitely. Durbin said that only serves to double down on the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy.

"Can’t we save these children from being caged away from their parents?” asked Durbin. 

In April, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered border prosecutors to use the separation of children from their parents as a deterrent to illegal immigration. 

Now, Durbin said Trump is trying to leverage the situation to pass an immigration reform bill in Congress. The House voted down the more conservative of two Republican immigration bills on Thursday. A vote has been delayed on a more moderate measure.

Durbin said President Trump is using his order halting the separation of families at the Mexican border to try to get around the 'Flores Settlement.'

That's a 1997 court order that sets standards for how immigrant children can be detained, including a 20-day limit on how long children can be detained. 

“That Flores case recognizes that children should not be treated like criminals and it prohibits the prolonged detention of children because of harmful effects," said Durbin. 

Durbin said getting rid of the Flores Settlement was a goal of President Trump’s own immigration legislation, which the Senate voted down last February. 

Story source: WILL