Illegal Immigration and President Donald Trump’s Zero Tolerance Policy

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Illegal immigration, according to the Unites States of America is defined as when people who are foreigners and or immigrants try to enter the United States without the proper documentation needed to enter. During the summer of 2018, illegal immigration reached an all-time high due to President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance policy. This crisis and the collapse of the border policy caused the Trump Administration to be very frustrated because this was an issue that was not going to be an easy fix.

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It is documented that over 16,600 illegal immigrants, which include both parents and children, were taken into custody by the border patrol during the month of September. These events led up to September being marked as one of the worst months on record during the fiscal year.

During the remainder of the fiscal year, the record rose to over 38 percent of illegal 0¦immigrants trying to cross over into the United States. During the next twelve months following this, over 100,000 families, including children, tried to come over illegally. This statistic surpassed the one of the Obama Administration in the year of 2016. The increase of numbers has been refereed to as the migrant caravan. The caravan is a term used for parents and children that traveled from Central Mexico to illegally cross the border for the United States of America. For this to stop happening, President Donald Trump considered deploying active duty members that belonged to the United States Military to go and back up members of the National Guard that were activated earlier that year.

In this research paper, I am going to talk about illegal immigration, the separation of children and reuniting families. I will discuss how this is both hurting and helping the federal government. I will also talk about how separating children from families hurts the child. Also, how reuniting the children with their families will help them out in the long run will be discussed.

So, it is questioned as to how will separating children from their families affect them. According to William Wan of the Washington Post, when you separate children forcefully from their parents, it causes their heart to race. When this happens, hormones flood the body, such as cortisol and adrenaline. By those hormones being released, this can start destroying the little branches in your brain that transmit messages. By this happening, especially in young children, this can wreck the physical structure of the brain and cause long term damage. Many pediatricians, psychologists and other health experts disagree with President Trumps new border crossing policy. This policy has divided and disconnected over 2,000 immigrant children from their parents within a few weeks. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, they submit statements against the policy. This academy and college has over 250,000 doctors in the United States that all disagreed with this policy. Over 100 organizations, along with almost 7,700 mental health professionals have urged against President Trump with a petition to end the new policy.

Charles Nelson, who is a pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School, has studied the affects of children’s neurological damage when they are separated from parents and he almost cried at the results. A Romania communist dictator named Nicolone Ceausescu decided to ban abortions, birth control and appointed a celibacy tax on families with five or fewer children. He upheld this standard for over a decade. He thought that if the countries birth rate was increased tremendously, that Romania’s economy would be boosted. However, Ceausescu was sadly mistaken. Instead of helping the economy, the government ended up having to support more than 100,000 children by opening orphanages simply because their parents were unable to afford to raise and properly care for them. During this time, Nelson experienced and witnessed kids rocking back and forth without control, hitting themselves and their heads into the hard walls. As a result of the heartbreaking experience, the researcher had to make up a rule for themselves not to cry in front of the children. Charles Nelson and the colleagues started noticing and discovering an unbalance of differences in the children’s brains. Nelson found out while doing his study that children that were separated from their families, had less fiber throughout large portions of their brains which made them unable to transmit information. This area of the brain also helps to receive information and solve problems. Nelsons research has proven that children who face separations from their parents, score lower on IQ tests and that they would be less likely to handle stressful situations. When they were tested, the reaction to these situations caused them to have very rapid heart rates and sweaty palms. According to Nelson, you are not supposed to provoke children and that children need to be attached and connected to their parents from the time that they are born.

From a political view, many republicans dislike and distance themselves from the Trump Administrations Zero Tolerance Policy with separating children from their parents on the Southern Border. However, on the flip side, other republicans agreed with the President. Attorney General, Jeff sessions used and cited a Bible verse for his defense on children being separated. The White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders also agreed on the Zero Tolerance Policy. She quotes that it is a moral policy to follow and enforce the law. Although they agreed with the President, the House Speaker, Paul Ryan quoted we do not want kids to be separated from parents. He made it very known that him and a few other republicans did not agree with the policy. A republican senator from Oklahoma that goes by the name of James Lankford said that he will be asking the White House to keep families together as much as we can.

When it comes to the democratic party, they strongly disagreed with the President and the Policy. Democratic House Leader, Nancy Pelosi, said that the Trump Administration and their views on separating family’s needs to stop and that the President has the power to stop this at the drop of a dime, he just has to speak the word. Meaning, he can stop all of this whenever he wants to. The Senate Democratic Leader stated that the President can fix this issue all by himself. According to Quinnipiac Universities national poll, two thirds of people who voted oppose the family separations. Republicans backed the Zero Tolerance Policy with 55 percent out of one hundred saying it is a go. Even though most voters oppose building a border wall, about 3 out of 4 republicans back it.

As a result of the constant political pressure, President Trump decided to end the Zero Tolerance Policy. this situation has caused the President to have to redo what he has done. The executive order was signed on June 20, 2018 and it became a major uproar. The border control officials announced that immigrants with families that were traveling across the border illegally, would not be detained until space became available. However, the illegal immigrants that were traveling alone would be prosecuted. This was announced on June 25, 2018 and this family separation divided the White House greatly. President Donald Trump himself blamed the Democrats for the policy that caused 2,000 children to be separated from their parents at the border. He said that it was their fault because they did not work together to improve and revise the policy. Representative Kevin Yoker said that the situation of families being separated must be resolved so that families can stay together. According to, there were so many horror stories about children being torn from parents’ arms, that the White House had to distract the media from the bad coverage. To do this, they had the media to focus on the abandoned Wal-Mart in Texas where several hundred immigrant children were being housed. The government did not allow any coverage inside the shelter other than their own producers of the shelter During the chaos, the Associated Press decided to have nothing to do with the tour. This decision came after a Democratic Senator went into the Texas Federal Facility where the children were being held like animals in cages. Senator Merklay of Oregon was able to get into another facility and he said that it reminded him of a dog kennel.

In the past, immigrants that had clean records were released to find asylum. However, the Trump Administration detains anything that is walking, including people who want asylum. Lawmakers try to stop family separations, but, they do not have the proper plans in place to pass. Nancy Pelosi disagrees with this, saying, that the Republican party can take on the issue of separation between families encouraging them to propose a new plan and expedite it so that it can be done swiftly.

So, how can we prevent family separations and prevent the Zero Tolerance Policy from being issued? We would have to stop altogether because according to the Trump Administration are secretly separating immigrants by charging them unbelievable charges. They are using the justification because of the wrong that the immigrants are doing. The lawyers of the Catholic found 16 new separation cases in New York where they provided legal services for immigrants and their children. The families are in government custody.

In conclusion, illegal immigration, separation and reuniting of families were a great topic. In this research paper it was discussed that being captured or separated from your family can affect them mentally and lower their IQ scores. It can affect them physically by causing them to release hormones that can destroy the little branches in your brain that transmit messages etc. However, there is truly nothing that we can do if the government is still secretly doing these activities.

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Illegal Immigration and President Donald Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy. (2019, Sep 28). Retrieved from