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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hayes and GOP Rep. spar over child separation



Hayes and GOP Rep. spar over child separation

NY Mayor Tours Facility for Detained Children

Lawyer: Never in 40 years seen kids separated from parents The civil rights attorney who obtained an audio recording of children separated from their parents crying joins Chris Hayes to talk about how she got it and how asylum seekers are being turned away at the border.



All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

Mom separated from son: We're 'trying to save our lives' An El Salvadorian mother tells Trymaine Lee about her family's experience asking for asylum at the U.S. border - and the 85 days it took to get their son back.



All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

Reporter reveals 'astonishing' video of migrant kids brought to NY



Reporter reveals 'astonishing' video of migrant kids brought to NY

New York mayor blasts Trump administration after touring facility for immigrant children - CNNPolitics

"CNN)A 9-month old child is the youngest of 239 kids who come daily to a facility in Harlem as a result of the Trump administration's family separation policy, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday afternoon.



De Blasio, who toured Cayuga Centers in upper Manhattan before addressing the media, said more than 350 children affected by the Trump policy had already been placed in care by the facility. He questioned how this many children could come through just one facility without the city government being aware.

The children should be with their parents, he said.

"Stop this right now," de Blasio said. "Stop this broken, inhumane policy right now."

Some of the children who come to the center each day for classes and social services have bed bugs, lice, chicken pox and other contagious diseases, he said..."



New York mayor blasts Trump administration after touring facility for immigrant children - CNNPolitics

Trump’s order won’t reunite kids already separated

Trump’s Child Separation Crisis Hits a Breaking Point | The Daily Show

‘A blowtorch to the tinder’: Stoking racial tensions is a feature of Trump’s presidency - The Washington Post


"President Trump this week likened Hispanic immigrants to vermin. He warned that they would “pour into and infest our country.” And he defended his administration’s family separation policy by alleging that parents crossing the southern border with their children were poised to commit crime and murder.

For him, this language is not new.

Echoing the words and images of the white nationalist movement to dehumanize immigrants and inflame racial tensions has become a defining feature of Donald Trump’s presidency and of the Republican Party’s brand.

Trump has stirred supporters at rallies by reading “The Snake,” a parable about a tenderhearted woman who takes in an ailing snake but is later killed when the revived creature bites her. The song, he says, should be heard as a metaphor for immigration.

The president referred to some African nations as “shithole countries.” He posited that “both sides” were to blame for last summer’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville And, again and again, he has accused black football players who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of police discrimination of being un-American.

There are many ways in which Trump stands out in the lineup of modern American presidents, but one is his aversion to using his bully pulpit to unify the diverse nation he was elected to lead. Rather, Trump stokes cultural divisions and cultivates tribalism under the banner of his slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

President Trump speaks during a tour as he reviews border wall prototypes on March 13, 2018 in San Diego.

“He takes a blowtorch to the tinder,” said Peter Wehner, a Trump critic who worked in the previous three Republican administrations and is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

“For Trump and for his presidency, the culture war is central and defining — and it’s a culture war of a particular kind,” Wehner added. “It’s not the traditional culture war of gay rights and abortion. It’s a culture war that manifests itself in race and ethnicity and nationality. That is his go-to theme.”

Throughout his public life, Trump has pitted one group of Americans against another and inserted himself in racial controversies. In 1989, as a celebrity real estate developer, he took out advertisements in New York’s newspapers calling for the death penalty for five black and Latino teens who were wrongfully convicted of raping a white female jogger in Central Park. More recently, Trump perpetuated for five years the lie that Barack Obama was born outside the United States to delegitimize his presidency.

As he leads his party into the potentially perilous midterm elections five months from now, Trump is trying to make cultural identity a central theme of the Republican pitch to voters. The president’s messages have been amplified by his surrogates as well as by friendly broadcasters on Fox News Channel and elsewhere in the conservative media.

Trump is calculating that by playing to people’s fears and anxieties he can maximize turnout among hardcore supporters to counterbalance evident enthusiasm on the Democratic side. Fueling Trump’s approach, advisers say, is an unremitting fear of his own: that his base could abandon him if he is deemed too weak on immigration, which was a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign.

Trump’s defenders flatly reject the suggestion that he is intentionally exacerbating the nation’s cultural differences.

“Those who focus on culture and race as the perceived center of POTUS policies are either ignoring or ignorant of the root causes of the problems,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said in a text message.

Pierson, one of the few African Americans who works for Trump, said the president’s policies are “centered around law and order and prioritizing American families.” To conclude otherwise, she said, would be exhibiting “bias.”

“I think people are conditioned to see what they want (or are being told) to see in everything that he does, not what he is actually doing,” Pierson said.

Trump has said he recoils from the images, sounds and stories beaming in this week from the border. “I don’t want children taken away from parents,” he said in a Tuesday speech. Yet he otherwise was initially defiant in the face of the growing public outcry, only capitulating Wednesday after the objections had reached a fever pitch. Even then, he suggested to reporters that it was a difficult call to retreat on his policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

“If you’re really, really pathetically weak, the country’s going to be overrun with millions of people. And if you’re strong, then you don’t have any heart. That’s a tough dilemma,” Trump said. “Perhaps I’d rather be strong. But that’s a tough dilemma.”

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the party’s most hard-line voices on immigration, argued that Trump should be focusing more on culture in devising and articulating his policies.

“I don’t hear this president speaking much about race, [but] for me, there are cultural distinctions that matter,” King said. “Whenever you import large numbers of people from singular cultures, you import the culture, too. That’s why a movement towards assimilation in the broader American civilization is so important. That’s been pushed on the back burner and it should be on the front burner.”

GOP congressional leaders are plainly uncomfortable. Some of the most vulnerable House Republicans are running for reelection in swing districts where suburban voters who recoil from divisive rhetoric and policies could prove decisive.

By and large, however, they have not challenged Trump’s approach. Republicans who publicly object risk losing primary challenges, being ostracized or mocked by the president. Or they find safe harbor elsewhere, as strategist Steve Schmidt, who helmed George W. Bush and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, did in announcing Wednesday that he was renouncing his membership in the Republican Party.

Before Trump’s retreat Wednesday, his advisers and allies said the border situation is being covered hysterically in the media and that there would not be long-term consequences for the president or the party.

“On a near daily basis during the campaign, Republican operatives would spend their time freaking out about the controversy of the day,” said Andy Surabian, a former Trump campaign and White House official. “If you listened to them you would have thought the sky was perpetually falling. The lesson of the campaign is that in Trump’s Washington, things move so fast that no single story will ever define the president, the administration or the party as a whole.”

New polls this week have shown a stark divide over the administration’s family separation policy. A Quinnipiac University poll found that American voters overall oppose the policy, 66 percent to 27 percent, mirroring other surveys.

Quinnipiac found that Republican voters support the separation policy, 55 percent to 35 percent, and that the demographic group with the deepest support was whites without college degrees.

Peter Hart, a Democratic pollster, said that in focus groups he conducted this week in Pittsburgh, many voters expressed “a sense of violation” and that women, in particular, feel personal empathy for the immigrant families being separated.

“This is a very unsettling time for the American voter,” Hart said. “People are unnerved, unsettled and unhappy.”

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who has long advocated his party adopt a more inclusive posture to appeal to the nation’s diversifying electorate, warned that Trump’s strategy is risky.

“In a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” Ayres said, “it helps to have a majority of the people behind what you’re trying to do.”

‘A blowtorch to the tinder’: Stoking racial tensions is a feature of Trump’s presidency - The Washington Post

Fewer Births Than Deaths Among Whites in Majority of U.S. States - The New York Times. This is what Trump and his White supremacists followers fear and what motivates their fascist policies.



Empty storefronts in downtown Robersonville in North Carolina, one of 26 states where deaths now outnumber births among white people
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Fewer Births Than Deaths Among Whites in Majority of U.S. States - The New York Times

President Trump caved to enormous political pressure on Wednesday and signed an executive order that ends the separation of families by indefinitely detaining parents and children together at the border.


Trump Signs Executive Order to Keep Families Together - The New York Times

Trump reverses course, signs order ending family separations on southern border - The Washington Post



Trump reverses course, signs order ending family separations on southern border - The Washington Post

Now We Know Who's Willing To Defend Caging Children

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Uproar Over Trump's Migrant Separation Policy Reaches a Fevered Pitch | ...

Kellyanne Conway to Cuomo: How dare you. A truly despicable and dishonest woman.

Congressman DESTROYS Trump's Witch Hunt Lies

U.S. to withdraw from U.N. Human Rights Council


"WASHINGTON — The United States plans to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council, two U.S. officials confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday. The announcement is expected to be made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley at 5 p.m. this evening.

The Trump administration has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the 47-member human rights body, most recently in March of this year, citing bias against Israel."


U.S. to withdraw from U.N. Human Rights Council

Trump Gets Blasted for Breaking Up Migrant Families | The Daily Show

Woe to those who stifle children joyful impulses. Woe to Trump, Sessions et al. Woe to those who stifle children joyful impulses. Woe to Trump, Sessions et al.

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Screen Shot 2018 06 19 at 4 09 37 PM

The facts about Trump’s policy of separating families at the border - The Washington Post





"“I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law.”

— President Trump, in remarks to reporters at the White House, June 15
“We have the worst immigration laws in the entire world. Nobody has such sad, such bad and, actually, in many cases, such horrible and tough — you see about child separation, you see what’s going on there.”
— Trump, in remarks at the White House, June 18
“Because of the Flores consent decree and a 9th Circuit Court decision, ICE can only keep families detained together for a very short period of time.”
— Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a speech in Bozeman, Mont., June 7
“It’s the law, and that’s what the law states.”
— White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, at a news briefing, June 14
“We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”
— Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, on Twitter, June 17
The president and top administration officials say U.S. laws or court rulings are forcing them to separate families that are caught trying to cross the southern border.
These claims are false. Immigrant families are being separated primarily because the Trump administration in April began to prosecute as many border-crossing offenses as possible. This “zero-tolerance policy” applies to all adults, regardless of whether they cross alone or with their children.
The Justice Department can’t prosecute children along with their parents, so the natural result of the zero-tolerance policy has been a sharp rise in family separations. Nearly 2,000 immigrant children were separated from parents during six weeks in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The Trump administration implemented this policy by choice and could end it by choice. No law or court ruling mandates family separations. In fact, during its first 15 months, the Trump administration released nearly 100,000 immigrants who were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, a total that includes more than 37,500 unaccompanied minors and more than 61,000 family members.
Children continue to be released to their relatives or to shelters. But since the zero-tolerance policy took effect, parents as a rule are being prosecuted. Any conviction in those proceedings would be grounds for deportation.
We’ve published two fact-checks about family separations, but it turns out these Trumpian claims have a zombie quality and keep popping up in new ways.
In the latest iteration, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted and then said at a White House briefing that the administration does not have “a policy of separating families at the border.” This is Orwellian stuff. Granted, the administration has not written regulations or policy documents that advertise, “Hey, we’re going to separate families.” But that’s the inevitable consequence, as Nielsen and other Trump administration officials acknowledge.
“Operationally what that means is we will have to separate your family,” Nielsen told NPR in May. “That’s no different than what we do every day in every part of the United States when an adult of a family commits a crime. If you as a parent break into a house, you will be incarcerated by police and thereby separated from your family. We’re doing the same thing at the border.”
Although we’ve fact-checked these family-separation claims twice, we hadn’t had the opportunity to assign a Pinocchio rating yet. We’ll do so now.

The Facts

Since 2014, hundreds of thousands of children and families have fled to the United States because of rampant violence and gang activity in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. U.S. laws provide asylum or refugee status to qualified applicants, but the Trump administration says smugglers and bad actors are exploiting these same laws to gain entry. Nielsen says the government has detected hundreds of cases of fraud among migrants traveling with children who are not their own. Trump says he wants to close what he describes as “loopholes” in these humanitarian-relief laws.
The Central American refugee crisis developed during President Barack Obama’s administration and continues under Trump. The two administrations have taken different approaches. The Justice Department under Obama prioritized the deportation of dangerous people. Once he took office, Trump issued an executive order rolling back much of the Obama-era framework.
Obama’s guidelines prioritized the deportation of gang members, those who posed a national security risk and those who had committed felonies. Trump’s January 2017 executive order does not include a priority list for deportations and refers only to “criminal offenses,” which is broad enough to encompass serious felonies as well as misdemeanors.
Then, in April 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rolled out the zero-tolerance policy.
When families or individuals are apprehended by the Border Patrol, they’re taken into DHS custody. Under the zero-tolerance policy, DHS officials refer any adult “believed to have committed any crime, including illegal entry,” to the Justice Department for prosecution. If they’re convicted, that triggers deportation proceedings.
Illegal entry is a misdemeanor for first-time offenders and a conviction is grounds for deportation. Because of Trump’s executive order, DHS can deport people for misdemeanors more easily, because the government no longer prioritizes the removal of dangerous criminals, gang members or national-security threats. (A DHS fact sheet says, “Any individual processed for removal, including those who are criminally prosecuted for illegal entry, may seek asylum or other protection available under law.”)
Families essentially are put on two different tracks. One track ends with deportation. The other doesn’t.
After a holding period, DHS transfers children to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Department of Health and Human Services. They spend an average 51 days at an ORR shelter before they’re placed with a sponsor in the United States, according to HHS. The government is required to place these children with family members whenever possible, even if those family members might be undocumented immigrants. “Approximately 85 percent of sponsors are parents” who were already in the country “or close family members,” according to HHS. Some children have no relatives available, and in those cases the government may keep them in shelters for longer periods of time while suitable sponsors are identified and vetted.
Adding it all up, this means the Trump administration is operating a system in which immigrant families that are apprehended at the border get split up, because children go into a process in which they eventually get placed with sponsors in the country while their parents are prosecuted and potentially deported.
This is a question of Trump and his Cabinet choosing to enforce some laws over others. The legal landscape did not change between the time the Trump administration released nearly 100,000 immigrants during its first 15 months and the time the zero-tolerance policy took effect in April 2018.
What changed was the administration’s handling of these cases. Undocumented immigrant families seeking asylum previously were released and went into the civil court system, but now the parents are being detained and sent to criminal courts while their kids are resettled in the United States as though they were unaccompanied minors.
The government has limited resources and cannot prosecute every crime, so setting up a system that prioritizes the prosecution of some offenses over others is a policy choice. The Supreme Court has said, “In our criminal justice system, the government retains ‘broad discretion’ as to whom to prosecute.” To charge or not to charge someone “generally rests entirely” on the prosecutor, the court has said.
Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for Nielsen, said the administration does not have a family-separation policy. But Waldman agreed that Trump officials are exercising their prosecutorial discretion to charge more illegal-entry offenses, which in turn causes more family separations. The Obama administration also separated immigrant families, she said.
“We’re increasing the rate of what we were already doing,” Waldman said. “Instead of letting some slip through, we’re saying we’re doing it for all.”
Waldman sent figures from fiscal 2010 through 2016 showing that, out of 2,362,966 adults apprehended at the southern border, 492,970, or 21 percent, were referred for prosecution. These figures include all adults, not just those who crossed with minor children, so they’re not a measure of how many families were separated under Obama.
“During the Obama administration there was no policy in place that resulted in the systematic separation of families at the border, like we are now seeing under the Trump administration,” said Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute. “Our understanding is that generally parents were not prosecuted for illegal entry under President Obama. There may have been some separation if there was suspicion that the children were being trafficked or a claimed parent-child relationship did not actually exist. But nothing like the levels we are seeing today.”
Trump administration officials say they’re trying to keep parents informed about their kids.
But some families instead have wound up in wrenching scenarios.
“Some of the most intense outrage at the measures has followed instances of parents deported to Central America without their children or spending weeks unable to locate their sons and daughters,” The Washington Post’s Nick Miroff reported. “In other instances, pediatricians and child advocates have reported seeing toddlers crying inconsolably for their mothers at shelters where staff are prohibited from physically comforting them.”
Administration officials have pointed to a set of laws and court rulings that they said forced their hand:
  • 1997 federal consent decree that requires the government to release all children apprehended crossing the border. The “Flores” consent decree began as a class-action lawsuit. The Justice Department negotiated a settlement during President Bill Clinton’s administration. According to a 2016 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the Flores settlement requires the federal government to release rather than detain all undocumented immigrant children, whether they crossed with parents or alone. The agreement doesn’t cover any parents who might be accompanying those minors, but it doesn’t mandate that parents be prosecuted or that families be separated. Moreover, Congress could pass a law that overrides the terms of the Flores settlement. Waldman said the Flores settlement requires the government to keep immigrant families together for only 20 days, but no part of the consent decree requires that families be separated after 20 days. Courts have ruled that children must be released from detention facilities within 20 days under the Flores consent decree, but none of these legal developments prevents the government from releasing parents along with children.
  • A 2008 law meant to curb human trafficking called the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). This law covers children of all nationalities except Canadians and Mexicans. Central American children who are apprehended trying to enter the United States must be released rather than detained under the terms of the TVPRA, and they’re exempt from prompt return to their home countries. The law passed with wide bipartisan support and was signed by a Republican president, George W. Bush. No part of the TVPRA requires family separations.
  • The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. This comprehensive law governs U.S. immigration and citizenship and makes a person’s first illegal entry into the United States a misdemeanor. Clinton, Bush and Obama — the presidents who were in office during the immigration boom of the past few decades — never enforced the INA’s illegal-entry provision with the Trump administration’s zeal. The INA says nothing about separating families. It was sponsored by Democrats and passed by a Democratic-held Congress. President Harry Truman, also a Democrat, tried to veto the bill, describing it as a reactionary and “un-American” measure meant to keep out immigrants from Eastern Europe. Congress overrode his veto.
“What has changed is that we no longer exempt entire classes of people who break the law,” Nielsen said at a White House briefing June 18. “Everyone is subject to prosecution.”
It’s unclear whether 100 percent of adults are being prosecuted. Experts on the ground say there are not enough resources on the border to process all these cases. Trump administration officials say immigrants should show up at a port of entry to request asylum if they want to avoid prosecution, but there’s usually a big crowd and people often get turned away at these entry points, according to reporting from Texas Monthly.
It’s strange to behold Trump distancing himself from the zero-tolerance policy (“the Democrats gave us that law”) while Nielsen claims it doesn’t exist (“it’s not a policy”) and Sessions defends it in speech after speech.
“We do have a policy of prosecuting adults who flout our laws to come here illegally instead of waiting their turn or claiming asylum at any port of entry,” Sessions said in a speech on June 18 in New Orleans. “We cannot and will not encourage people to bring children by giving them blanket immunity from our laws.”
In a June 7 speech, Sessions said: “I hope that we don’t have to separate any more children from any more adults. But there’s only one way to ensure that is the case: it’s for people to stop smuggling children illegally. Stop crossing the border illegally with your children. Apply to enter lawfully. Wait your turn.”
The attorney general also suggested on June 7 that legal developments are forcing his hand. “Because of the Flores consent decree and a 9th Circuit Court decision, ICE can only keep families detained together for a very short period of time,” Sessions said. But as we’ve explained, this is misleading. Neither the consent decree nor the court ruling forces the government to separate families. What they do provide is accommodations for children that the government could extend to parents if it wanted to.
For Trump, the family-separation policy is leverage as he seeks congressional funding for his promised border wall and other immigration priorities, according to reporting by The Washington Post. Top DHS officials have said that threatening adults with criminal charges and prison time would be the “most effective” way to reverse the rising number of illegal crossings.

The Pinocchio Test

The doublespeak coming from Trump and top administration officials on this issue is breathtaking, not only because of the sheer audacity of these claims but also because they keep being repeated without evidence. Immigrant families are being separated at the border not because of Democrats and not because some law forces this result, as Trump insists. They’re being separated because the Trump administration, under its zero-tolerance policy, is choosing to prosecute border-crossing adults for any offenses.
This includes illegal-entry misdemeanors, which are being prosecuted at a rate not seen in previous administrations. Because the act of crossing itself is now being treated as an offense worthy of prosecution, any family that enters the United States illegally is likely to end up separated. Nielsen may choose not to call this a “family separation policy,” but that’s precisely the effect it has.
Sessions, who otherwise owns up to what’s happening, has suggested that the Flores settlement and a court ruling are forcing his hand. They’re not. At heart, this is an issue of prosecutorial discretion: his discretion.
The Trump administration owns this family-separation policy, and its spin deserves Four Pinocchios."

Four Pinocchios



The facts about Trump’s policy of separating families at the border - The Washington Post

Statement of APA President Regarding the Traumatic Effects of Separating Immigrant Families

Statement of APA President Regarding the Traumatic Effects of Separating Immigrant Families

WASHINGTON — Following is the statement of APA President Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD, regarding the deleterious impact on the health and well-being of children and families who are separated as they seek to enter the United States without proper documentation:

“The administration’s policy of separating children from their families as they attempt to cross into the United States without documentation is not only needless and cruel, it threatens the mental and physical health of both the children and their caregivers. Psychological research shows that immigrants experience unique stressors related to the conditions that led them to flee their home countries in the first place. The longer that children and parents are separated, the greater the reported symptoms of anxiety and depression for the children. Negative outcomes for children include psychological distress, academic difficulties and disruptions in their development.

“The American Psychological Association calls on the administration to rescind this policy and keep immigrant families intact. We support practical, humane immigration policies that consider the needs of immigrants, and particularly immigrant families. We must adopt policies that take into account what we know about the harmful, long-term psychological effects of separation on children and their families. This is not an acceptable policy to counter unlawful immigration.”

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.

Statement of APA President Regarding the Traumatic Effects of Separating Immigrant Families

Opinion | Trump and the Baby Snatchers - The New York Times

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"This was the lead paragraph of a New York Times report last week:

“The Trump administration said on Friday that it had separated 1,995 children from parents facing criminal prosecution for unlawfully crossing the border over a six-week period that ended last month, as President Trump sought to shift blame for the widely criticized practice that has become the signature policy of his aggressive immigration agenda.”
This may well be one of the most callous policies the Trump administration has instituted in its zeal to crack down on illegal immigration.
These are children!
On June 9, The Washington Post reported that “a Honduran father separated from his wife and child suffered a breakdown at a Texas jail and killed himself in a padded cell last month.”
According to The Post, when the man, 39-year-old Marco Antonio Muñoz, was told he would be separated from his wife and 3-year-old son, he “ ‘lost it,’ according to one agent.”
“ ‘The guy lost his s—-,’ the agent said. ‘They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands.’ ”
The Post continued: “Muñoz was placed in a chain-link detention cell, but he began punching the metal and shaking it violently, agents said.”

At another point in the account, The Post reported:
“ ‘He yelled and kicked at the windows on the ride to the jail,’ an agent said. Shackled and handcuffed, Muñoz attempted to escape again upon arrival and once more had to be restrained. According to the sheriff’s department report, Muñoz was booked into the jail at 9:40 p.m. He remained combative and was placed in a padded isolation cell, it says.”
Muñoz would take his own life. A guard saw “ ‘a piece of clothing twisted around his neck which was tied to the drainage location in the center of the cell,’ according to the incident report filed by the sheriff’s department that morning.”
I can’t begin to imagine the incredible pain and anxiety parents like Muñoz and their children must feel. I can’t imagine being forcibly separated from my children for any reason.

And yet, this has become Trump’s policy of persecution. Attorney General Jeff Sessions even had the gall to invoke one of the same Bible verses used to justify slavery to justify the current policy.
Trump keeps lying about it, trying to distort reality and claim that the separations are a result of a “law” made by the Democrats.

As The Times reported on Saturday: “Mr. Trump has steadfastly tried to deflect blame for the separation of children from their parents, consistently dissembling about why it is occurring. His comments are the latest example of his asking the public to discount what it sees with its own eyes and instead believe his own self-serving version of reality. They also reflect how politically poisonous the issue has become, as photographs and news articles circulate about the effects of the practice.”

As The Times explained: “In fact, there is no law that requires families to be separated at the border. There is a law against ‘improper entry’ at the border, as well as a consent decree known as the Flores settlement that limits to 20 days the amount of time that migrant children may be held in immigration detention, which a federal judge ruled in 2016 also applies to families. A 2008 antitrafficking statute — signed into law by a Republican president, George W. Bush — also requires that certain unaccompanied alien minors be transferred out of immigration detention in 72 hours. None of those laws or precedents mean that children must be taken away from their parents.

“It is the Trump administration’s decision this year to prosecute all unlawful immigrants as criminals that has forced the breakup of families; the children are removed when the parents are taken into federal custody. While previous administrations have made exceptions to such prosecutions for adults traveling with their minor children, the Trump administration has said it will not do so.”

Trump is lying, as he often does. This barbaric policy is an outgrowth of his own personal cruelty. It’s absolutely reprehensible and an absolute reflection of him.

And, as the American Psychological Association put it:

“The administration’s policy of separating children from their families as they attempt to cross into the United States without documentation is not only needless and cruel, it threatens the mental and physical health of both the children and their caregivers. Psychological research shows that immigrants experience unique stressors related to the conditions that led them to flee their home countries in the first place. The longer that children and parents are separated, the greater the reported symptoms of anxiety and depression for the children. Negative outcomes for children include psychological distress, academic difficulties and disruptions in their development.”

I don’t have a long treatise to issue here, no meandering argument. I am simply outraged beyond my ability to articulate it.
This practice of family separation must end, and Trump and every other politician who was silent about it or worse, endorsed it, must be held to account at the ballot box.”\

Opinion | Trump and the Baby Snatchers - The New York Times:

 

 

 

Opinion | When Did Caging Kids Become the Art of the Deal? It always have been; look at Trump's 40 plus history of racists practicies and statements. - The New York Times

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"Watching President Trump blame Democrats for his administration’s inhumane practice of snatching immigrant children from their parents at the border evokes nothing so much as an abusive husband blaming his wife for the beatings he delivers:

Why do you make me do this? I hate doing this! If you’d only be reasonable and listen to me, things wouldn’t have to be this way.

As anyone paying even minimal attention to politics knows, this immoral policy is not ‘the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder Security and Crime,’ to quote one randomly spelled and capitalized tweet out of three to that effect in a little over 12 hours. It’s not really Republicans’ fault, either — at least not yet. Both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations began efforts to curtail the flow of people across the southern border, but neither went so far as to pursue a ‘zero tolerance’ approach that tore apart families en masse. Congress has not passed any bills requiring the practice since then. This bit of nastiness belongs entirely to Mr. Trump — he has made a choice to torment undocumented families — and his attempt to pass the buck is dishonest and gutless. In other words, it’s what we’ve come to expect when Mr. Trump finds himself in an uncomfortable spot.

But the horror show at the border has gotten awkward for Mr. Trump. When the normally fawning Rev. Franklin Graham and other conservative religious leaders start publicly questioning this president’s inerrancy, you know Mr. Trump has really distinguished himself in his iniquity. Even the first lady felt moved to publicly distance herself from her husband’s cruelty, calling for a nation ‘that governs with heart.’ Things have gotten so radioactive that, at a Monday briefing, the homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, found it easiest to fall back on incoherence, alternating between blaming Congress for the situation and denying that any such situation existed.

Perhaps recognizing the growing political hazard, the president is headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday evening to try to drag Republican House members deeper into his dumpster fire. Marc Short, his legislative affairs director, has said that the president will explain to Republican lawmakers the logic and ‘history’ behind the decision to split up families. ‘The policy is incredibly complicated, and it is one we need to do a better job of communicating,’ Mr. Short said. Right, that’s the root of the problem here: inelegant messaging.

Mr. Trump is also expected to inject himself into the conference’s already fraught debate over immigration legislation, voicing support for two proposals that the G.O.P. House will likely be voting on in the coming days.

The president’s preferred bill is a hard-line plan fathered by Representative Bob Goodlatte, the Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. That bill would, among other steps, tighten asylum standards, slash legal immigration by 25 percent by ending both the diversity visa lottery and doing away with most family-based immigration, and consign Dreamers to permanent limbo by requiring them to re-up their status every three years. And, of course, the bill would fund The Wall. It all fits nicely with Mr. Trump’s tendency to talk about immigrants as though every one of them is an aspiring MS-13 foot soldier.

The president also has said — after some initial confusion on his part, according to the White House — that he’d be willing to sign the ‘compromise’ plan hammered out in large part by House leadership. The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018, much like Mr. Goodlatte’s bill, would tighten asylum standards, kill the diversity visa and fund The Wall. It would be somewhat more flexible about family-based immigration and make provisions for some Dreamers to ultimately apply for green cards. It would deal with the current policy of splitting up families by allowing for children to be kept in ICE detention along with their parents. Jailing families together: This is what is considered progress in the current immigration climate.

Whatever the details, Mr. Trump will be using the Tuesday meeting as an opportunity for some additional arm-twisting. If Republican lawmakers have any sense of self-preservation, much less moral decency, they will refuse to engage with Mr. Trump over immigration while he is attempting such grotesque political blackmail. EDITORS’ PICKS

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How Boots Riley Infiltrated Hollywood For the president, this vile border mess has become a test to see how hard he can squeeze lawmakers. The White House has made clear that it regards immigrant children as useful levers to force Congress to pass legislation. With the midterms looming, Republican House members are desperate to look like they’re making progress on this issue. Mr. Trump (whose administration is planning a fresh wave of immigration crackdowns in the coming months) is betting that, with enough pressure, he can bend enough nervous moderates to pass a bill through the House on a party-line vote — and maybe, if he keeps hammering away at Democrats, even squeak it through the Senate.

In reality, by making the immigration topic even more radioactive, Mr. Trump has made a rational legislative debate much less likely. House Democrats would be nuts, politically and on policy grounds, to swallow either of the unpalatably conservative plans they are being offered. And even if a bill passes the lower chamber, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is unlikely to let his troops take a politically noxious vote during a high-stakes election cycle. No matter how much Mr. Trump beats his chest, it’s hard to see any proposal becoming law any time soon.

Lawmakers should not negotiate with the president until he puts a stop to this ‘zero tolerance’ insanity. Even if Republican members can’t be swayed by the immorality of the practice, they should look at this situation in terms of preserving their own power: If they let Mr. Trump roll them by using innocent children as hostages, he will learn the lesson that brutality is the key to getting what he wants.

Maintaining checks and balances can be tricky with any president, but that’s especially true when a commander in chief has authoritarian impulses. As made evident by his slavering over such brutal autocrats as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, Mr. Trump believes that effective leadership is all about crushing anyone who stands in your way, collateral damage be damned. If lawmakers aren’t willing to stand up to him in a case where justice and public sentiment are so clearly on their side, they might as well hand him the keys to the Capitol right now.

(Via.). Opinion | When Did Caging Kids Become the Art of the Deal? - The New York Times

Trump Resisting a Growing Wrath for Separating Migrant Families. #ManchurianPresiiodent is Andrew Jackson redux. - The New York Times

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(Via.) Trump Resisting a Growing Wrath for Separating Migrant Families - The New York Times