Trump plans executive order to stop indefinite separation of detained families at the border. So what happens to those families next?

Jun 20, 2018


View of a temporary detention centre for illegal underage immigrants in Tornillo, Texas, US near the Mexico-US border, as seen from Valle de Juarez, in Chihuahua state, Mexico on June 18, 2018.; Credit: HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images


President Donald Trump says he’ll issue an executive order to end the practice of separating families at the border.

Meanwhile, there are reports that young children and infants are being held in “tender age” shelters after being separated from their families at the border when illegal crossing into the U.S. There are separate facilities for adults, who are entitled to due process in court within 48 hours, where many plead guilty to criminal charges of crossing the border illegally. In Texas, “operation streamline” means that there are mass hearings that expedite this process, whether for better or for worse. This is something that’s being introduced in California.

So how does asylum play into all this? And what happens, step-by-step, when a migrant family crosses the border, from both the adult and the child’s perspective? Plus, after Trump signs the executive order to end indefinite separation, what happens to those families?

We get an explainer of how the process works in California and in Texas.

With files from the Associated Press 

With guest host Libby Denkmann


Andrew Nietor, immigration and criminal defense attorney; president of the board of directors of Federal Defenders of San Diego, who handles criminal cases after getting a notification of a case from the San Diego immigration court; he tweets @anietor

Elissa Steglich, clinical Professor at the University of Texas School of Law Immigration Clinic

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