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If you have any social media presence at all, I am sure you have heard about the situation where the Trump administration is separating families who attempt to cross the border. Like all stories, the truth has become distorted through social media. Here are the straight facts about the situation, and the truth behind the Trump administration’s lies.

The Facts
Despite what Trump says, family separation is NOT a law, but rather a Trump administration policy. The administration has been claiming that U.S. laws are forcing the separation of families attempting to cross the border, but the separation is due to the Zero-Tolerance Policy implemented by the Trump Administration. The Zero Tolerance Policy essentially states that all illegal border-crossings are taken to criminal prosecution, resulting in families being separated as the parents are sent to jail rather than keeping family together in a detention center. This policy also states that people can be deported for anything as small as a misdemeanor, so you can be deported for crossing the border.

“I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law.”   

Donald Trump to white house reporters on June 15

The administration has referenced previous policies, laws, and court rulings which they stated forced them into this position, the first being The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which rules the first attempt a person makes to illegally enter the country is considered a misdemeanor.

Another is the federal consent decree made in 1977 stating that the government is required to release all children who are caught while trying to enter the U.S, which in no way prevents parents from being released with their children. The Trafficking Victims Protection Re-authorization Act states that Central American caught trying to cross the border must be released and not detained and are free from from being sent home to their home countries. This act in no way requires family separation.

But what is really important is how the Trump administration is blatantly lying about their policy. This should come as no surprise, looking at the history of the administration and the president himself.

Families are fleeing abuse and gang activity to seek asylum, which the Trump administration states is being abused by smugglers. Trump states people can simply go to the entrance at the border to seek asylum, but it is well known that people are often turned down due to the large crowds. It is painstakingly clear these views held by the administration are influenced by xenophobia and blatant racism.

Why You Should Care

Trump denying due process of law to these immigrants also means that you, as an American citizen, can be deported without a hearing. It doesn’t matter if you can prove you were born in this country if there is no lawful judicial review. Despite that, the trauma these children are experiencing by being put in cages in converted warehouses should be enough to make any human being sympathetic.

As an american citizen you have more of an ability to influence change than these persecuted immigrants. Protesting, signing petitions, and talking to local representatives not only puts pressure on the Trump administration to change this behavior, but has been proven successful recently when Trump made an executive order forcibly reversing family separation. If these issues are upsetting or disturbing to you, do something about it. Even though change is hard, working together to advocate for what matters will make a difference.