Kristin A. Collins on Family Separation at the Border

Family relationships have long been part of the bedrock of U.S. immigration policy. Then came Trump

Reports of young children ripped from their parents’ arms at the U.S.-Mexico border are causing outrage, and rightly so. But this shocking practice is just the latest example of the Trump administration’s systematic assault on bonds of love and kinship that American immigration law has long valued and protected.

“Family separation” is a tactic designed to scare away migrants and asylum seekers, especially those from Latin America. It is also a bargaining chip in the president’s ruthless attempt to force Congress to agree to a radical cutback in legal immigration and to the construction of a wall along the southern border. The pretense is law enforcement, but cruelty to families has become the hallmark of the Trump administration’s overall immigration policy.

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