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Trump and his White House aides forced the zero-tolerance policy that caused migrant families to separate at the southern border, according to top Justice Department official Gene Hamilton. In an inspector general report released on Thursday, Hamilton said the policy was pushed after Trump and White House officials involved in executing Trump’s immigration agenda complained not enough was being done to discourage illegal immigration. Hamilton also said former Attorney General Jeff Sessions “perceived a need to take quick action from” Trump and that after a White House meeting in April 2018, Sessions “directed that I draft a memo that would put in effect a zero-tolerance approach to immigration enforcement at the border.” The New York Times
In other federal immigration news…
Immigrant Rights Groups Press Biden to Stick to 100-Day Deportation Ban
As it gets closer to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, immigrantion rights groups are making sure he follows his campaign promise to stop deportations for his first 100 days in office. Two national immigrant rights groups, Make the Road New York and Mijente, plan to start a digital ad campaign imploring Biden to suspend deportation and to stop the arrest of immigrants. Some activists are ready to see Biden to undo the Trump administration’s immigration agenda while also doing better than former president Barack Obama, who oversaw a record number of deportations. In a statement, the Biden transition team said he made a clear commitment and is a man of his word. BuzzFeed News
Biden Announces Immigration Policy Team
Biden announced the new White House staff members that will serve under Susan Rice, his director of the Domestic Policy Council. They’ll coordinate with federal agencies to enforce his early domestic policy agenda, focusing on racial justice and equity, immigration, health care, veterans affairs and economic mobility. Tyler Moran will be a special assistant to the president for Immigration for the Domestic Policy Council. Moran was executive director of the Immigration Hub and senior policy advisor to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. Esther Olavarria will become deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council for Immigration. Olavarria, who is a member of the Biden-Harris Homeland Security Agency Review team, previously served in the Obama-Biden DHS and the White House Domestic Policy Council. USA Today