Speed Reads

lesser of two evils

Immigrants may have to choose either family detention or separation with new Trump administration proposal

Immigrant parents detained at the border could soon face a difficult choice: be placed in a tent city to await the asylum process as a family, or relinquish custody of their children to the government.

Two sources familiar with the plan told McClatchy that President Trump's administration is putting together a proposal for allowing immigrants to make this choice, in a hasty attempt to patch up holes left in Trump's executive order. The president last week signed an order to no longer require families to be separated while seeking asylum in the U.S., but his administration is still seeking to challenge a law prohibiting child migrants from being detained for more than 20 days at a time. After that time is up, parents will have to choose whether to keep their children with them in detention centers, or have the Department of Health and Human Services place them with a U.S.-based family member or sponsor.

The executive order moved to detain families together, but put no time frame on how long immigrants might need to be held in camps on military bases before their asylum requests are processed. McClatchy notes that only 20 percent of asylum requests were eventually granted in 2017, and only 15 percent have been approved this year. Families seeking asylum would be held a minimum of six weeks, and likely much longer, reports Vox.

Proponents of giving parents a choice in their child's fate say it could give more flexibility and speed asylum cases along. Others say it's not a fair solution and that it's coercive to force parents to make such a choice. Read more at McClatchy.