On the same day that Melania Trump announced the Obama administration’s anti-bullying campaign as the bully-in-chief listened in the audience, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III formally announced the Trump administration will be ripping infants, toddlers and children from the arms of their parents at the U.S./Mexico border:
The Trump administration announced Monday that it is dramatically stepping up prosecutions of those who illegally cross the Southwest border, ramping up a “zero tolerance” policy intended to deter new migrants with the threat of jail sentences and separating immigrant children from their parents.
“If you cross the Southwest border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in announcing a policy that will impose potential criminal penalties on border crossers who previously faced mainly civil deportation proceedings — and in the process, force the separation of families crossing the border for months or longer.
According to Politico, despite these kids crossing over with their parents, “existing law states that children encountered at the border can be classified as unaccompanied minors if their parents are prosecuted and detained for criminal charges”:
In those circumstances, the children are transferred to the custody of the Health and Human Resources Department until they can be placed with a guardian. Increased referrals of people suspected of illegally crossing the border would likely make such separations more common.
About that—earlier this month, officials from HHS said they have no idea what has happened to 1,500 migrant children they placed with U.S. sponsors after they arrived to the border unaccompanied. “You are the worst foster parents in the world,” blasted Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). “You don’t even know where they are.”
There’s a reason why America’s most racist Keebler elf continues to put up with ongoing abuse and humiliation from Trump—he’s in a position to make lives for brown and black people are miserable as possible, and he won’t quit until he’s dragged out of the Justice Department building. Now, the official policy of the “family values” party is “family values, unless you’re brown”:
“Today we’re here to send a message to the world that we are not going to let the country be overwhelmed. People are not going to caravan or otherwise stampede our border,” Mr. Sessions said in the second of a pair of announcements in Arizona and California.
The new policy strikes squarely at parents who have traveled with their children, some apparently with the expectation that they would face shorter periods of detention while their cases were heard.
“If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Mr. Sessions said at a law enforcement conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”
So now parents trying to give their kids a second chance at life is smuggling? It’s “cruelty,” as Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said in response. “Criminalizing parents seeking protection for themselves and their children is inhumane, excessively punitive and can deliberately interfere with their ability to seek asylum,” he continued. “Forcibly separating minor children from their parents is unconscionable,” said Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council.
“This policy could mean that even if a family is seeking asylum, parents can be criminally prosecuted, and their children will be taken away from them, to be placed in a shelter where they face deportation proceedings alone,” she continued. “The United States should instead honor its legacy of providing safety to those fleeing violence and its commitment to family unity. A policy that prosecutes parents and separates families to send a message to others is cruel and un-American.” The Los Angeles Times editorial board:
When a desperate family fleeing violence in their homeland arrives at the border, what kind of heartless and inhumane nation would separate the parents from the children, prosecute the parents for crossing into the country illegally and send the kids off to a youth detention center?