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Paul Ryan Just Lied About the Origins of the Family Separation Immigration Policy, and the Internet Is Calling Him Out

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks about the opioid crisis during his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, June 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

During his weekly press conference, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spoke out against families being separated at the United States' southern border. But instead of laying blame where is belongs, with the people who enacted the policy, the Wisconsin Republican chose to blame a 1997 court ruling; the Flores settlement.

In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated the Trump administration would enact a zero tolerance policy for those entering the United States through Mexico, regardless if they were adults, children or families or were seeking asylum. Since then, President Donald Trump has blamed everyone but his own administration for the repercussions of his own policy.


Including referencing a law that doesn't exist.

Ryan, like the leader of his party, claims the more than 1,000 immigrant children separated from their families is not Trump's fault.

"This is because of a court ruling," Ryan stated, then repeated it three more times. "We don’t want kids to be separated from their parents."

What’s happening at the border and the separation of parents and their children is because of a court ruling."

Ryan brushed off any culpability on the part of the president or his administration. But if the court ruling in 1997 is the sole reason for the separation, why did President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush or President Barack Obama not ever interpret the court ruling that way?

The 1997 Flores settlement bars the government from detaining children for long periods, including with their parents. Because the Trump administration has decided to detain everyone at the border, the children are being separated from their parents.

In other words, current family separation policy is the result of the Flores settlement only because the Trump administration would rather split up families than allow them to be released from detention while their cases go through the court system.

Previously, official discretion put families detained at the border in immigration proceedings rather than splitting them up. When a reporter pointed out the separations result from the administration’s zero tolerance policy, Ryan replied that "there’s also a court ruling involved."

While Speaker Ryan refused to give credit where it is due, others had no problem doing it.

Huffington Post reporter Roque Planas broke Ryan's erroroneous claim down.

It sounds a lot like taking children from their parents is an intentional tactic of intimidation deployed by the Trump administration, despite Ryan's claims otherwise.