“Trump administration officials have repeatedly denied that they pursued a policy of intentionally separating immigrant families arriving at the southern border in 2018 — depicting the separation of parents from their children as a side effect of a “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all border crossers.
A new draft report from a government watchdog obtained by the New York Times shows they were lying.
“We need to take away children,” then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions reportedly told five US attorneys on the border during a meeting in May 2018 (to the lawyers’ alarm), adding that if parents care about their children, they shouldn’t bring them to the US in order to seek “amnesty.””
“While former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has largely taken the blame for the policy publicly, it turns out that Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein were much more directly involved in pushing for family separations than previously known.”
“Rosenstein also emphasized the policy, telling the US attorneys that no children were too young to be separated from their parents. One of the prosecutors, John Bash, decided not to prosecute two cases involving families in which the children were just babies, and Rosenstein told him he should have gone ahead.
Bash later told his staff that the cases should not have been declined: “Per the A.G.’s policy, we should NOT be categorically declining immigration prosecutions of adults in family units because of the age of a child,” he said.”
” for the duration of the zero-tolerance policy, prosecutors actually had a harder time enforcing the law in serious felony cases because they were overwhelmed in trying to prosecute every person who crossed the border without authorization. According to the report, a Texas prosecutor informed the DOJ in 2018 that “sex offenders” were consequently freed from custody. The US Marshals Service was also unprepared for the implementation of the zero-tolerance policy, meaning that it had to divert resources from serving warrants in other cases, the report said.”
“Senior Trump administration officials, including Nielsen, have repeatedly denied that they pursued a policy of family separation”
“It was later revealed that she had, in fact, signed a memo greenlighting the practice, which clearly stated that DHS could “permissibly direct the separation of parents or legal guardians and minors held in immigration detention so that the parent or legal guardian can be prosecuted.””
“If you survey Americans about how many children they want, on average they say about 2.5. That includes the ones like me who want six and the ones who want zero. But while people want 2.5 kids on average, in practice they have fewer — about 1.72 in 2018, the book says. Increasing America’s population needn’t involve regression from modern liberal ideas. It would just require making it possible for people to get the thing that they already want.
The book’s proposed policy changes are mostly changes at the margins — more immigration but not open borders, an expansion of public education to also provide free preschool and day care, subsidies and tax credits for parents, fixes to our housing and transportation policy so the cost of living isn’t intolerable.
Despite its simplicity — maybe because of its simplicity — it’s compelling. Matt Yglesias thinks America is good and it’d be good if everyone who’d benefit the country was allowed to live here and everyone who lived here was able to have their ideal family size. And while that simple vision elides a lot of challenges — some of which are beyond its scope — its vision of America is at least worth rooting for.”
“The Trump administration is holding unaccompanied migrant children in hotels before rapidly expelling them from the US under a new policy that allows officials to turn away anyone who poses a risk of spreading coronavirus — even if they show no symptoms and are seeking asylum.”
“It’s just the latest in a long line of Trump administration policies designed to gut the asylum system on the southern border. Before the pandemic, officials were turning away tens of thousands of migrants at the southern border through the “Remain in Mexico” program, under which asylum seekers were forced to wait in Mexico, often for months at a time, for their immigration court hearings in the US. The new expulsion policy has largely replaced that program as a mechanism for keeping migrants out.
According to court documents, the administration had expelled about 2,000 unaccompanied children under the policy as of June. Though the government has not released more recent data on unaccompanied children specifically, CBP reported expelling more than 105,000 migrants total under the policy by the end of July.
“They’re coming here because they have legitimate claims for humanitarian protection,” Steven Kang, an attorney for the ACLU, said Friday. “For this country turn them right around is not only wrong — it’s not what Congress wanted. This whole shadow deportation scheme bypasses and ignores all the important rights that Congress gave them.””
“Though overcrowding of such facilities was a concern at the outset of the pandemic, HHS shelters are now operating at 5-to-10-percent capacity — well below normal, Kang said. That suggests that there is plenty of room to safely enforce social distancing and quarantine anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 or develops symptoms.
The lawsuit also argues that children have the right to an attorney and a full immigration court hearing to determine whether they are entitled to protections that would allow them to stay in the US, which is required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA).
The government has argued that it has the authority to reject any migrant who poses a risk of spreading communicable disease under Title 42, a federal public health provision. Mark Morgan, the acting CBP commissioner, said earlier this month that the policy helps mitigate the risk of spreading the virus to anyone the migrants might come into contact with while being processed and in HHS shelters.”
“Even as the labor market has gotten steadily healthier in recent years, the American birth rate continues to fall from its recession-era highs.
Women tell pollsters that’s not because the number of kids they’d ideally like to have has fallen. Instead, the No. 1 most-cited reason is the high cost of child care. Child care doesn’t get more affordable just because the unemployment rate is low. If anything, it’s the opposite — child care is extremely labor-intensive, and the prospects for introducing labor-saving technology into the mix look bad. To make child care broadly affordable would require government action; it’s just not going to happen in a free market, which doesn’t magically allocate extra income to people who have young kids.”
“America’s sky-high child poverty rate compared with peer countries is entirely attributable to our failure to enact a child allowance policy. A better labor market helps marginally, but it doesn’t address the fundamental issue that a new baby increases financial needs while also making it harder to work long hours.”