Recidivism Watch: Trump administration again blames others for its own family separation policy

“We have to break up families. The Democrats gave us that law,” Trump said during a roundtable on sanctuary cities in California on May 16. “It’s a horrible thing where you have to break up families. The Democrats gave us that law, and they don’t want to do anything about it.”

.. A federal judge in California ruled in 2015 that the Flores settlement covered all children in immigration officials’ custody, regardless of whether they were apprehended at the border alone or with family members. The judge’s ruling also covered any accompanying parents. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed the latter part of the ruling and said the Flores settlement required only that children, not parents, be released. Therefore, the government is required to keep immigrant children and their parents together only for a limited time.
.. none of these legal developments requires the Trump administration to separate them from their kids. Instead, separations are rising in large part because of a “zero-tolerance” policy implemented by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
.. In April, Sessions directed prosecutors to charge as many illegal entry offenses as possible. This policy is a choice. Sessions could rescind it as easily as he instituted it.
.. the Department of Health and Human Services said in May that it had 10,773 migrant children in its custody, up from 8,886 on April 29.
.. Laying this on Democrats does not track with reality. The TVPRA was signed by Bush, a Republican, and the Flores settlement is a court-approved agreement. It’s not a law; Congress could overwrite it if it wanted to. The bottom line is that nothing required the Trump administration to separate children from their parents until Sessions’s zero-tolerance policy made it a practical necessity.
.. It’s noteworthy that Sessions himself does not shy away from the effect the zero-tolerance policy has on undocumented immigrant families, and doesn’t attempt to blame Democrats, like Trump does. In fact, Sessions has castigated parents who try to enter the United States with their children in tow, because the journey is often rife with risks.

.. the Bible also says: “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt” (Leviticus 19:33-34). And it says that “each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body” (Ephesians 4:25).

.. The Fact Checker Recidivism Watch tracks politicians who repeat claims that we have previously found to be incorrect or false.