Democrat Bill To ‘Keep Families Together’ May Have Unintended Consequences

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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As emotions and tempers flare over the situation at the southern border, legislators on both sides of the aisle have put forth potential solutions. But the Democrat-led “Keep Families Together Act,” sponsored by Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein might lead to more confusion.

The bill’s stated purpose is “to limit the separation of families at or near ports of entry,” but the wording of the bill does not limit the protections to only the minor children of illegal immigrants crossing the border into the United States. (RELATED: Why Weren’t Liberals Furious About These Photos Of Illegal Immigrant Detentions Under Obama?)

Section 2b addresses the main point, saying, “An agency may not remove a child from a parent or legal guardian solely for the policy goal of deterring individuals from migrating to the United States or for the policy goal of promoting compliance with civil immigration laws.”

Although government agents would be prohibited from removing immigrant children from their parents within 100 miles of the border, the bill fails to designate a difference between illegal immigrant children and the children of American citizens who may have committed a crime in that same geographical window.

According to Section 11, the bill defines a child as someone under the age of 18 with no permanent immigration status. But legally speaking, according to a report from The Federalist, the children of American citizens do not have a “permanent immigration status” either.

The bill does provide for a few instances when children may be separated from their parents:

  • a state court terminates the rights of a parent or legal guardian
  • the child is determined to be in danger of abuse or neglect
  • the child is a victim of trafficking
  • the adult claiming to be the child’s parent is not the child’s actual parent or guardian

Feinstein’s bill has the broad support of the Democrats — as of Monday, every Democrat in the Senate had signed on to cosponsor the legislation.