WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and his decision on Tuesday to withdraw from the United Nations’ Human Rights Council have triggered a nearly unanimous international and internal rejection, in what has become one of the most difficult moments of his presidency.
Recently released images showing unaccompanied and separated children locked up in cages in US Border Patrol detention centers have provoked widespread condemnation of the policy of separating undocumented immigrant parents from their children.
Last week, the US government acknowledged that, from April 19-May 31, it separated 2,000 minors from their parents at the southern border in an effort to charge every adult crossing the border illegally with federal crimes.
Democrats and human rights groups have been some of the fiercest critics, although Republican lawmakers, neighboring countries and the United Nations have also called out this policy of separating families.
Numerous governors have also condemned the policy, announcing on Wednesday that they would not deploy any National Guard resources to the border to assist the US Border Patrol.
Many are Democrats, including the governors of North Carolina, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and Rhode Island, although some are also Republicans, including the governors of Massachusetts, Maryland, Nebraska and Florida.
Last year, then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who is now the White House chief of staff, said during an interview that the administration was considering family separation as a deterrent strategy to slow the flow of undocumented immigrants.
Neighboring countries have also criticized the policy, including Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala, whose president, Jimmy Morales, announced Wednesday that the United States’ “greatness and nobility” was at stake if the family separation policy continued, which has affected 465 Guatemalan minors.