Joe Biden’s Border Rules Separate Tens of Thousands of Families

MCALLEN, TX - JUNE 12: Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas. The families were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the …
John Moore/Getty

President Joe Biden’s pro-migration border rules are separating many more migrant children from their parents than were separated by President Donald Trump’s anti-migration policy, according to media reports and statements from migration advocates.

“Self-separating families … are sending their children [alone across the border],” said Ruben Garcia, the executive director of a migrant shelter in El Paso, Texas. “We see it, we know it here in Juarez, for families who have stayed in shelters who make the decision, ‘I’m going to send my kids on by themselves,'” he said April 8.

“The Biden policies are driving a wedge between families and they are being separated intentionally due to the specific [pro-migration] policies of the Biden administration,” said Rob Law, the director of regulatory affairs and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies. Law, a former senior immigration official for Trump, added:

There has been far more family separation that has occurred due to Biden administration policies, but there are different [moral] standards that are applied to open-borders liberal regimes then [to] Republicans who actually want to enforce the laws on the books.

The Associated Press reported April 8 on a migrant who brought just one of his children to get through Boden’s border:

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Paying a smuggler, Edgar Mejia could afford to take only one child with him to the United States. He chose his 3-year-old “warrior” son, leaving his 7- and 12-year-olds with their mother in Honduras.

“Pitifully, I had [to] use him like a passport to get here,” Mejia said last week after picking up milk from volunteers at a Brownsville, Texas, bus station for the last leg of their journey to join relatives in Atlanta. “I am here because of him.”

The massive scale of family breakups is being caused by the administration’s half-open border policies, Law said. Those policies grant free entry to children and youths who separate from their parents and partial access to mothers that arrive with young children. The mothers and children — dubbed “family units” — usually separate themselves from their older children and husbands who try to sneak across the border with other young men, he said.

The chaotic family-splitting rules, loopholes, and exemptions were created by Biden’s progressive deputies to more migrants gain entry than were allowed by Trump or are allowed by federal immigration law.

The Washington Post reported April 11 the story of a husband who left his wife and children to make their own way into the United States:

Xeni, a 25-year-old Honduran, left her home in the province of Comayagua in mid-March. She was hoping to reunite with her husband, who had migrated to Florida in 2019. … She traveled by raft across the Rio Grande from the Mexican city of Reynosa to McAllen, Tex., with her small son and daughter. They waded ashore in what she remembers as a brief moment of jubilation.

“Call Daddy,” her 6-year-old son Wilson told her. “Tell him to come get us.”

But Xeni and the children were just unlucky — they were in the minority of family migrants who were sent back to Mexico by Biden’s confusing policies and half open border, the Post reported:

Xeni said she can’t go back to Honduras because her home was damaged by two devastating hurricanes in November. And she’s desperate to give her children a better life [in the United States]. So desperate, she’s considering a drastic step.

“The only option I have is to send the kids [alone] over the bridge,” she said.

The left reacted with emotional outrage in 2018 when Trump’s deputies were legally forced to temporarily separate perhaps 5,000 families as they sought criminal penalties against migrants who brought children to help them get through the Flores loophole. Biden cited the progressives’ outrage against Trump during his third presidential debate, saying, “it makes us a laughingstock and violates every notion of who we are as a nation.”

Yet Biden has ignored the many family breakups encouraged by his half-open, half-closed border and his policy of extracting migrants from Central America for use in the United States. “Rolling back the policy of separating children from their mothers, I make no apologies for that,” he said at his first press conference on March 25.

Since February, Biden’s deputies have accepted more almost 28,000 single children and teenagers and have also accepted a large share of 70,000 members of incomplete families since February, according to federal data. On April 12, roughly 21,250 children and teenagers were in Biden’s shelters, without their parents, according to a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security.

In contrast, Trump’s deputies encountered roughly 9,000 of each group in November and December. Many of the children were accepted, but few of the incomplete families were allowed to stray. For a period in late 2020, amid contradictory judicial decisions, Trump’s deputies reunited thousands of single children and teenagers by flying them back to their families in their home countries.

American progressives are “hypocritical [and they champion] different standards based on what the underlying policy objective is,” Law said, adding:

The very short-lived family separation that occurred under the Trump administration was enforcement-minded, which, of course, meant that the families were reunited as they were sent home because they had no basis to be in the country.

The intentional family separation that is being permitted and encouraged by the Biden administration is of a permissive nature to allow alien minors to stay in the country. Because that is apparently righteous in the heart, there’s no accountability there.

The Biden rules reward the many thousands of fathers, mothers, young children, and job-seeking teenagers who separate from their families for years, months, or weeks.

Under the Trump administration, progressive and media outlets portrayed family separations as traumatic events for children.

Under Biden, the emotional price of family separation rarely gets mentioned.  The New York Times made an exception on April 9, reporting:

“What these kids [in U.S. shelters] want first and foremost is to be reunited with their families,” Ms. [Leecia] Welch said. “They were desperate to hear their parents’ voices.”

One child she interviewed in Dallas, she said, teared up as he told her that he had gone three months without contact with his family and that he had made his first call the day before.

ABC News reported described the migrants’ hit-or-miss attempts on April 8:

Hermelindo Ak, a corn grower, heard in Guatemala that chances were better for families but didn’t know how a child’s age was considered. Information seemed to change “day to day,” he said.

He was expelled with his 17-year-old son, then sent his son alone for a second attempt after learning unaccompanied children can stay in the U.S. Ak, 40, planned to return home to his wife and other children, who stayed in Guatemala because they couldn’t afford to pay a smuggler.

Biden’s chaotic rules encourage migrants to gamble their money and lives as they try to get past the cartels and smugglers who control the Mexican side of the border. On April 9, the Washington Post reported on a partial family that lost their gamble at Biden’s border:

Hours after being expelled [by U.S. law back] to northern Mexico, [mother Meylin Obregon and her child Wilton] were kidnapped, according to Misael Obregon, Meylin’s brother, who lives in Miami.

Misael received a call from the kidnappers. They wanted $10,000 to release Meylin and Wilton. “They threaten to hurt them both, or worse,” Misael Obregon said. “These people are capable of anything.”

Misael could come up with only $5,000. He sent the cash through a money transfer company. The kidnappers agreed to release Wilton, but not his mother.

“The inhumane way smugglers abuse children while profiting off parents’ desperation is criminal and morally reprehensible,” said the March 31 statement by

On March 31, Biden’s DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas blamed the cartels and smugglers for the traumas on the way to Biden’s half-open, half-closed border. “The inhumane way smugglers abuse children while profiting off parents’ desperation is criminal and morally reprehensible,” said his March 31 statement.

Just this month, a young girl died by drowning, a six-month-old was thrown into the river, and two young children were dropped from a wall and left in the desert alone. There can be no doubt that children are exceptionally vulnerable when placed in the hands of smugglers. There is grave risk they will be exploited and harmed.

But since that March 31 statement, the cartels have not given up their weapons and Mayorkas is still encouraging family separations by accepting all unaccompanied children and teenagers, plus a larger share of the partial-family migrants.

He is also encouraging the families’ fathers and adult sons to separate themselves from their families and to sneak across the border as single adults.

Mayorkas ended Trump’s policy of flying detained single migrants home to their countries. Under Mayorkas’ pro-migration rules, the detained adult migrants are simply returned to their starting blocks in Mexico. This policy means adult migrants face no federal penalties for trying to sneak across the border without their separated families.

If the adults succeed in getting into U.S. jobs because of Mayorkas’ lax rules, they pay the “criminal and morally reprehensible” coyotes and smugglers to deliver their spouses and children to Mayorkas’ border agents.

The coyotes are boasting about their cross-border cooperation with Mayorkas’ federal agents. “We deliver children to immigration (agents) and immigration (agents) are responsible for delivering them to their family members in the United States,” Daniel, a Guatemalan coyote, told Reuters for a March 23 article.

“It’s good to take advantage of the moment because [separated] children are able to pass quickly … That’s what we’re telling everyone,” he said.

The media outlets that covered Trump’s policies in banner headlines have fallen silent amid the trauma caused by Biden’s unpredictable, half-open, half-closed border.

For example, ABC’.com Jacob Soboroff wrote a book about separations during the Trump administration, titled, “Separated: Inside an American Tragedy.” He also pumped up the emotion in his media appearances. In  July 2020, for example, Soboroff tweeted5,400 kids were systematically taken away — tortured in the words of @P4HR, a Nobel Peace Prize winning organization — by the Trump administration.” 

But a review of Soboroff’s Twitter account shows no recent mention of Biden’s family separations.









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