Despite growing national outrage over the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border, top White House officials are planning to implement additional crackdowns on immigration before the midterm elections.

Politico reports that half a dozen interviews with current and former administration officials and Republicans close to the White House reveal that senior policy advisor Stephen Miller and a team of officials from the departments of Labor, Homeland Security, Justice and the Office of Management and Budget have been meeting for months to figure out how to take advantage of executive authority and “under-the-radar rule changes” to strengthen hard-line immigration policies.

One Republican close to the White House told Politico that the objective of these meetings is to show that President Donald Trump has fulfilled his immigration promises, despite the notable lack of his promised border wall. Some of the ideas reportedly in the works are: limiting visas for temporary agricultural workers; making it harder for immigrants who have applied to welfare programs to obtain citizenship; tightening rules on student visas and exchange programs; and collecting biometric data from visitors from certain countries.

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The Department of Homeland Security has proposed a new rule that could potentially supercede a 1997 court settlement that limits the time migrant children can be kept in custody, which some find particularly troublesome given the administration’s current practice of detaining migrant children at the border.

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Trump continually blames Democrats for separating children from their parents at the border, a practice the United Nations has condemned, and claims they can put a stop to it by signing on to Republican legislation giving him what he wants, such as his border wall. However, there is no such law calling for breaking up families despite what the president says, and the practice is a direct result of the Trump administration’s move to criminalizing illegally entering the country.    

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