Local catholic charity groups hopes executive order will be effective
On June 20 President Donald Trump signed an executive order that he said will keep immigrant families, who enter the country illegally, detained together. The order came after current "zero-tolerance" led to thousands of children being separated from their children at the border.
"So we're going to have strong very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together," Trump said at a press conference where he signed the executive order.
Catholic Community Services of Lane County is part of a network of charitable catholic organizations who have taken a strong stance against the separation of families. Director Tom Mulhern hopes the order will do as promised.
"It can't come soon enough really," Mulhern said . "It's a misguided thing that needs to be corrected."
President Trump has made it clear, however, that border control will remain a high priority.
"We have to keep our borders strong," Trump said at a press conference. "We will be overrun with crime and with people who should not be in our country."
CCS works to reunite refugee families and also offers help with legal services for immigrant families. Mulhern said that while many immigrants are not granted refugee status, they could still be coming to the country for similar reasons.
"We have to recognize the difference between someone who's a criminal and someone who is trying to save their family and protect their family," Mulhern said.
Mulhern worries about the damage already done to the reported thousands of children who were separated from their families.
"I think anytime you forcibly separate children from their parents, you're causing trauma," he said.
Lane County, though nearly one thousand miles from the Mexico border, is still affected by immigration policy according to Mulhern.
" These affects are really felt throughout the country," he said. Here in Oregon, some of the parents that have been separated from their families have been brought here and incarcerated in Sheraton"
Currently CCS has not had an requests for help from families separated at the border in Lane County. They do expect to receive some in the future. For now, Mulhern is waiting to hear more details on the executive order and how it will be implemented.
"We'll see what's in the executive order because at this point we don't really know," he said. "But if it does stop the separation of families at the boarder - that would be a good thing."