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Our real national emergency is in Washington, not at the border

And the rest of us will be thrust into a national emergency of conscience. For we have allowed children to be snatched from the arms of their parents and sent to inadequate holding cells, cages, transported hundreds, even thousands of miles from their loved ones to caretakers in the employ of nonprofits, men and women who don’t know the names of the villages of these children, their aunts and uncles, their neighbors, or what they love to eat for dinner.

We’re in the midst of a national emergency, but not the one the president and his supporters have manufactured. The narco-terrorists, drug-dealers will continue to bring their drugs across our borders in planes, trucks and boats. But for families from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala seeking amnesty and a safe place in the United States, they will be thrust into an unimaginable nightmare. And the rest of us will be thrust into a national emergency of conscience. For we have allowed children to be snatched from the arms of their parents and sent to inadequate holding cells, cages, transported hundreds, even thousands of miles from their loved ones to caretakers in the employ of nonprofits, men and women who don’t know the names of the villages of these children, their aunts and uncles, their neighbors, or what they love to eat for dinner.

Some history

On Dec. 5, 2017, Attorney General Sessions signaled his desire to speed up the prosecution of immigration cases on the southern border. In his memorandum to members of the Department of Justice, Sessions declared: “Together, we have made significant progress since the beginning of the Trump Administration, but we want to build on this success to enshrine what the law contemplates and what the people desire — an end to unlawfulness in our immigration system.”

Image courtesy New York Times

No more delays in adjudicating asylum claims, no fraud, stressing that baseless cases be concluded expeditiously.

In February 2018, in the Southern District of California, the American Civil Liberties Union, citing “violations of the Constitution’s due process clause, federal law protecting asylum seekers, and of the government’s own directive to keep families intact,” brought “a federal lawsuit seeking to reunite an asylum-seeking mother and her 7-year-old daughter fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, only to be forcibly torn from each other in the U.S. and detained separately 2,000 miles apart.”In March, the ACLU broadened its case, representing other parents and children who claimed they were forcible separated while seeking asylum.

One of the bridges in El Paso, Texas, that has become a temporary encampment for asylum seekers. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

On April 6, 2018, Sessions directed “each United States Attorney’s Office along the Southwest Border to the extent practicable, and in consultation with DHS — to adopt immediately a zero-tolerance policy for all offenses referred for prosecution under section 1325(a) …  Remember, our goal is not simply more cases. It is to end the illegality in our immigration system.”

The press and some members of Congress began to look into the consequences of zero-tolerance and family separation. AP reporter Garance Burke wrote about the separated children: “The Health and Human Services Department has a limited budget to track the welfare of vulnerable unaccompanied minors, and realized that 1,475 children could not be found after making follow-up calls to check on their safety, an agency official said.” (Emphasis added.)

McClatchy News analyzed HHS data: “To come up with the 1,475 cases, the administration reached out to only 7,635 children and their sponsors. It placed more than 42,497 unaccompanied children with sponsors in fiscal year 2017. HHS told McClatchy it didn’t have the data of unaccounted children in a reportable format. But based on its own estimates that 14 percent didn’t return calls, some 5,945 unaccompanied children are likely unaccounted for.The numbers would be even higher in fiscal year 2016, which included the end of President Barack Obama’s final term when the administration placed more than 52,000 children with sponsors.”

In early May 2018, Sessions declared: “If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,” said Sessions. “If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.” (Emphasis added.)

Kirstjen Nielsen. Photo: Tom Brenner/New York Times

On May 10, 2018, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen told NPR: “Our policy has not changed in that if you break the law, we will refer you for prosecution. What that means, however, is if you are single adult, if you are part of a family, if you are pregnant, if you have any other condition, you’re an adult and you break the law, we will refer you. Operationally what that means is we will have to separate your family. 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 …”(Emphasis added.)

On June 11, 2018, the New York Times wrote that Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to overrule an asylum claim “made it all but impossible for asylum seekers to gain entry into the United States by citing fears of domestic abuse or gang violence … He reversed an immigration appeals court ruling that granted it to a Salvadoran woman who said she had been sexually, emotionally and physically abused by her husband. “Mr. Sessions … said the Obama administration created ‘powerful incentives’ for people to ‘come here illegally and claim a fear of return.’”

On June 18, 2018, Kirstjen Nielsen declared: “Those who criticize the enforcement of our laws have offered only one countermeasure: open borders, the quick release of all illegal alien families and the decision not to enforce our laws …”

She emphasized: “We will separate those who claim to be a parent and child if we cannot determine a familiar or custodial relationship exists. For example, if there is no documentation to confirm the claimed relationship between an adult and a child. We do so if the parent is a national security, public, or safety risk, including when there are criminal charges at issue and it may not be appropriate to maintain the family in detention together.”

Then facing a significant backlash, Secretary Nielsen tweeted:

On June 20, 2018, President Trump issued an executive order stating: “Under our laws, the only legal way for an alien to enter this country is at a designated port of entry at an appropriate time. When an alien enters or attempts to enter the country anywhere else, that alien has committed at least the crime of improper entry and is subject to a fine or imprisonment under section 1325(a) of title 8, United States Code… It is also the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources. It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law …

The Secretary of Homeland Security, shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, maintain custody of alien families during the pendency of any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members … (Emphasis added.)

The Department of Homeland Security issued a Fact Sheet explaining its zero-tolerance policy to immigrants: “Individuals who are apprehended by Border Patrol are taken to stations for processing. All individuals, including both adults and children, provide biographical information and, in many cases, fingerprints. Border Patrol agents enter information into appropriate electronic systems of records, including information about the claimed or confirmed family relationship.

Image courtesy New York Times

“Individuals who are believed to have committed any crime, including illegal entry, will be referred to the Department of Justice and presented before a federal judge.
After the conclusion of any criminal case, individuals will be transferred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for appropriate immigration proceedings.

“Any individual processed for removal, including those who are criminally prosecuted for illegal entry, may seek asylum or other protection available under law.

“Alien children may also present an individual claim for asylum and depending on the circumstances, may undergo separate immigration proceedings.”

Here’s an excerpt from the Frequently Asked Questions section of the DHS Fact Sheet:
“How Can I Communicate With My Child?
For parents or legal guardians detained in ICE custody, ICE and HHS will work to schedule regular communication with their children in HHS custody, through telephone and/or video conferencing.
Additionally, individuals may locate and communicate with their children through the following methods:
HHS Parent Hotline (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in both English and Spanish):
If calling from outside an ICE detention facility, call 1-800-203-7001.
If calling from an ICE detention facility, dial 699# on the free call platform.
Please note that you will need to provide the child’s full name, date of birth, and country of origin. It is also helpful to provide the child’s alien registration number, if you know it.
Email ORR at information@ORRNCC.com”

Almost all of these families had traveled for weeks, spoke little or no English, and the adults and children, in a foreign and intimidating environment, were experiencing the traumatic separation from each other. These instructions might challenge those of us used to dealing with American bureaucracy.

On June 26, 2018, Judge Sabraw issued his decision in Ms. L. v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), responding to recent events including President Trump’s executive order and the DHS Fact Sheet. I’m including several long excerpts because he clarifies the important issues involved.

Judge Sabraw summarized the case: “In brief, Ms. L. and her then-six-year-old daughter S.S., lawfully presented themselves at the San Ysidro Port of Entry seeking asylum based on religious persecution. They were initially detained together, but after a few days S.S. was ‘forcibly separated’ from her mother. When S.S. was taken away from her mother, ‘she was screaming and crying, pleading with guards not to take her away from her mother.’ … Immigration officials claimed they had concerns whether Ms. L. was S.S.’s mother, despite Ms. L.’s protestations to the contrary and S.S.’s behavior. So Ms. L. was placed in immigration custody and scheduled for expedited removal, thus rendering S.S. an ‘unaccompanied minor’ under the Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act (‘TVPRA’) … and subjecting her to the ‘care and custody’ of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (‘ORR’). S.S. was placed in a facility in Chicago over a thousand miles away from her mother. Immigration officials later determined Ms. L. had a credible fear of persecution and placed her in removal proceedings, where she could pursue her asylum claim. During this period, Ms. L. was able to speak with her daughter only ‘approximately 6 times by phone, never by video.’ … Each time they spoke, S.S. ‘was crying and scared.’ … Ms. L. was ‘terrified that she would never see her daughter again.’ … After the present lawsuit was filed, Ms. L. was released from ICE detention into the community. The Court ordered the Government to take a DNA saliva sample (or swab), which confirmed that Ms. L. was the mother of S.S. Four days later, Ms. L. and S.S. were reunited after being separated for nearly five months.”

Asylum seekers in Tijuana rely on charities to distribute food. When the migrant caravans arrived, many complained there wasn’t enough food to go around. Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

“Plaintiffs leveled the serious accusation that our Government was engaged in a widespread practice of separating migrant families, and placing minor children who were separated from their parents in government facilities for ‘unaccompanied minors.’ According to Plaintiffs, the practice was applied indiscriminately, and separated even those families with small children and infants—many of whom were seeking asylum …

Sabraw continues: “There was no reunification plan in place, and families have been separated for months. Some parents were deported at separate times and from different locations than their children. Migrant families that lawfully entered the United States at a port of entry seeking asylum were separated. And families that were separated due to entering the United States illegally between ports of entry have not been reunited following the parent’s completion of criminal proceedings and return to immigration detention.

As for the argument that immigrant families were treated the same as American citizens, Judge Sabraw wrote: “For citizens, there is an established system of social service agencies ready to provide for the care and well-being of the children, if necessary, including child protective services and the foster care system. This is in addition to any family members that may be available to provide shelter for these minor children. Grandparents and siblings are frequently called upon. Non-citizens may not have this kind of support system, such as other family members who can provide shelter for their children in the event the parent is detained at the border. This results in immigrant children going into the custody of the federal government, which is presently not well equipped to handle that important task.

“For children placed in federal custody, there are two options. One of those options is ORR, but it was established to address a different problem, namely minor children who were apprehended at the border without their parents, i.e., true “unaccompanied alien children.” It was not initially designed to address the problem of migrant children detained with their parents at the border and who were thereafter separated from their parents. The second option is family detention facilities, but the options there are limited …”

Image courtesy MSNBC

Re: the president’s executive order, Judge Sabraw wrote: “The language of the EO is not absolute, however, as it states that family unity shall be maintained ‘where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources’ … and ‘to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations’ … The EO also indicates rigorous enforcement of illegal border crossers will continue … ‘It is the policy of this Administration to rigorously enforce our immigration laws.’). And finally, although the Order speaks to a policy of ‘maintain[ing] family unity,’ it is silent on the issue of reuniting families that have already been separated or will be separated in the future.”

Judge Sabraw continued: “Plaintiffs correctly assert the EO allows the government to separate a migrant parent from his or her child ‘where there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child’s alien parent would pose a risk to the child’s welfare’ …. Objective standards are necessary, not subjective ones … Furthermore, the Fact Sheet … says nothing about reunification during the intervening time between return from criminal proceedings to ICE detention or the time in ICE detention prior to actual removal, which can take months. Indeed, it is undisputed ‘ICE has no plans or procedures in place to reunify the parent with the child other than arranging for them to be deported together after the parent’s immigration case is concluded.’ …

“Plaintiffs contend the Government’s practice of separating class members from their children, and failing to reunite those parents who have been separated, without a determination that the parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child violates the parents’ substantive due process rights to family integrity under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. To prevail on this claim, Plaintiffs must show that the Government practice ‘shocks the conscience.’ In the Order on Defendants’ motion to dismiss, the Court found Plaintiffs had set forth sufficient facts to support that claim …

“First, although parents and children may lawfully be separated when the parent is placed in criminal custody, the same general rule does not apply when a parent and child present together lawfully at a port of entry seeking asylum. In that situation, the parent has committed no crime, and absent a finding the parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child, it is unclear why separation of Ms. L. or similarly situated class members would be necessary. Here, many of the family separations have been the result of the Executive Branch’s zero-tolerance policy, but the record also reflects that the practice of family separation was occurring before the zero-tolerance policy was announced, and that practice has resulted in the casual, if not deliberate, separation of families that lawfully present at the port of entry, not just those who cross into the country illegally. Ms. L. is an example of this family separation practice expanding beyond its lawful reach, and she is not alone.”

“… asylum seekers like Ms. L. and many other class members may be fleeing persecution and are entitled to careful consideration by government officials. Particularly so if they have a credible fear of persecution. We are a country of laws, and of compassion. We have plainly stated our intent to treat refugees with an ordered process, and benevolence, by codifying principles of asylum. See, e.g., The Refugee Act, PL 96-212, 94 Stat. 102 (1980). The Government’s treatment of Ms. L. and other similarly situated class members does not meet this standard, and it is unlikely to pass constitutional muster.

“Second, the practice of separating these families was implemented without any effective system or procedure for (1) tracking the children after they were separated from their parents, (2) enabling communication between the parents and their children after separation, and (3) reuniting the parents and children after the parents are returned to immigration custody following completion of their criminal sentence. This is a startling reality. The government readily keeps track of personal property of detainees in criminal and immigration proceedings. Money, important documents, and automobiles, to name a few, are routinely catalogued, stored, tracked and produced upon a detainees’ release, at all levels—state and federal, citizen and alien. Yet, the government has no system in place to keep track of, provide effective communication with, and promptly produce alien children …

“In effect, these parents have been left ‘in a vacuum, without knowledge of the well-being and location of their children, to say nothing of the immigration proceedings in which those minor children find themselves.’  … ‘[i]f parent and child are asserting or intending to assert an asylum claim, that child may be navigating those legal waters without the benefit of communication with and assistance from her parent’ … Indeed, some parents have already been deported without their children, who remain in government facilities in the United States …

For families in the migrant ‘caravan,’ like this Honduran mother and daughter, it’s impossible to know how long the wait to enter the U.S. will be. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

“These situations confirm what the Government has already stated: it is not affirmatively reuniting parents like Plaintiffs and their fellow class members for purposes other than removal. Outside of deportation, the onus is on the parents, who, for the most part, are themselves in either criminal or immigration proceedings, to contact ORR or otherwise search for their children and make application for reunification under the TVPRA …

“The injury in this case, however, deserves special mention. That injury is the separation of a parent from his or her child, which the Ninth Circuit has repeatedly found constitutes irreparable harm … Furthermore, the record in this case reflects that the separations at issue have been agonizing for the parents who have endured them …

“The parents, however, are not the only ones suffering from the separations. One of the amici in this case, Children’s Defense Fund, states … ‘there is ample evidence that separating children from their mothers or fathers leads to serious, negative consequences to children’s health and development. Forced separation disrupts the parent-child relationship and puts children at increased risk for both physical and mental illness … And the psychological distress, anxiety, and depression associated with separation from a parent would follow the children well after the immediate period of separation even after eventual reunification with a parent or other family …

The New York Times summarized Judge Sabraw’s decision this way: “A federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction late Tuesday temporarily stopping the Trump administration from separating children from their parents at the border and ordered that all families already separated be reunited within 30 days. Judge Dana M. Sabraw of the Federal District Court in San Diego said children under 5  must be reunited with their parents within 14 days, and he ordered that all children must be allowed to talk to their parents within 10 days.”

In January 2019, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (OIG) reported on its investigation “to determine the number and status of separated children (i.e., children separated from their parent or legal guardian by DHS) who have entered ORR care, including but not limited to the subset of separated children covered by Ms. L v. ICE.

Image courtesy New York Times

OIG found that, in 2017, even before the Trump administration announced its zero-tolerance policy, the Office of Refugee Resettlement saw a steep increase in children separated by the Department of Homeland Security. And because of that “Officials estimated that ORR received and released thousands of separated children prior to a June 26, 2018, court order in Ms. L v. ICE that required ORR to identify and reunify certain separated children in its care as of that date.”

To comply with Judge Sabraw’s court order “In July 2018, ORR certified a list of 2,654 children that ORR believed to be separated from parents who met the Ms. L v. ICE class definition … In October and December 2018, ORR conducted formal reviews that resulted in adding 162 children to the list … for a new total of 2,737 separated children of class members.

Homeland “faced significant challenges in identifying separated children, including the lack of an existing, integrated data system to track separated families across HHS and DHS and the complexity of determining which children should be considered separated. Owing to these and other difficulties, additional children of Ms. L v. ICE class members were still being identified more than five months after the original court order to do so.”

OIG concluded: “Key Takeaway — The total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities is unknown. Pursuant to a June 2018 Federal District Court order, HHS has thus far identified 2,737 children in its care at that time who were separated from their parents. However, thousands of children may have been separated during an influx that began in 2017, before the accounting required by the Court, and HHS has faced challenges in identifying separated children.” (Emphasis added.)

On Feb. 7, 2019, the newly configured House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held hearings on the administration’s family separation policy. Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette, D-Colo., declared: “We need to know what role HHS leaders played in formulating this policy, whether they made any effort to stop it and whether they raised any concerns about the harm it would do to the children who were separated.”

Ann Maxwell. Image courtesy C-SPAN

Ann Maxwell, the assistant inspector general for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, Evaluations and Inspections spoke of three main areas of concern regarding the children who were separated. First, “more children over a longer time were separated than is commonly understood.” While the focus of separated children were the 2,737 children covered by the ACLU case, Maxwell emphasized “if you widen that focus to a more comprehensive view as we did in this study, you see these children only represent a subset. How many more children were separated is unknown. This is because there is no integrated system that reliably tracks children who were separated and then referred to HHS for care. Based on informal records, HHS officials estimated it received and released thousands of separated children prior to the June 2018 court order …

Secondly, she testified “the government struggled to identify which children in its care were covered by the court order. To respond to the court’s reunification order, the government had to first engage in an extensive effort to identify children who had been separated from their parents. This included analyzing more than 60 data sets and manually reviewing 20,000 test files. Even with these extensive efforts, HHS later identified additional separated children that were covered by the reunification order. This again speaks to the challenges of accounting for separated children in the absence of reliable data about their circumstances. In this case, it impacted timely reunification.”

Lastly, and this will surprise many who believe that zero-tolerance and family separation has been suspended: “HHS continues to receive separated children. At this point, separation should only be occurring where there are concerns for a child’s safety. DHS immigration agents provided HHS with limited information about the reasons for the separations. The most common reason is apparent criminal history. HHS didn’t receive specifics about criminal history. These specifics are important. From a child welfare perspective, not all criminal history rises to a level that would imperil a child’s safety.”

Ann Maxwell concluded “limited information about separation means we cannot account for the full impact of family separations on children. Further, the limited data about recent separation impedes its ability to put children’s needs at the center of decision-making … Monitoring systems are only as good as the information put into them. We encourage HHS and DHS to look for opportunities to improve data sharing in the interest of better serving separated children.”

Kathryn Larin. Image courtesy C-SPAN

Kathryn Larin, the education, workforce, and income security director of the Government Accounting Office told the committee that officials at Health and Human Services were blindsided by Attorney General Sessions: “The department did not plan for family separations or for an increase in the number of children transferred to HHS because they were not aware of the memo until its public release. However, officials also told us that in the year prior to the memo, they saw a 10-fold increase in the number of children known to be separated from their parents. Two things likely contributed to the increase. A memo issued by the Attorney General in April 2017 prioritizing enforcement of certain offenses and an initiative in the El Paso Border Patrol Sector increases criminal prosecution of such offenses, including of parents who arrived with minor children. In November 2017, HHS officials told us they asked about the increase in child separation and was told there was no official policy of separating families. When separations continued, HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement considered planning for continued increases in separated children but were advised by leadership not to engage in such planning given that DHS did not have a policy of separating families.” (Emphasis added.)

So. in everyday language, there was, in fact, a policy of separating children before the government agency charged with the care of these immigrants, ORR, was even aware of such a policy. In many cases, they weren’t told which children had come alone or had been unwillingly separated from their parents. And in the cases where the children had been separated, they weren’t clearly told the reasons for the separation. So, while ORR had social workers and support staff available to care for these children, they were woefully ignorant of what exactly had happened to these children. Were their parents or adult caregivers criminal, incompetent, or merely innocent immigrants lawfully seeking asylum? And how could you adequately care for these children and effectively deal with their trauma without knowing these critical facts?

It seems in many ways that Homeland Security and ICE separated children from their parents or adult caregivers arbitrarily without a clear and fair process of determining whether these children were safe or in danger. They separated them without a clear way of identifying the circumstances under which they arrived or without a clear way of identifying their parents for their eventual reunification.

To fully understand administration strategy, it is instructive to review the internal memo “Policy Options to Respond to Border Surge of Illegal Immigrants.” It urged “Increase Prosecution of Family Unit Parents: Instruct CBP and ICE to work with DOJ to significantly increase the prosecution of family unit parents when they are encountered at the border. The parents would be prosecuted for Illegal entry (misdemeanor) or illegal reentry (felony) and the minors present with them would be placed in HHS custody as UACs. Because the parents would be criminally prosecuted, they would be placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshal to await trial This would require close coordination with DOJ, to ensure there are sufficient prosecutors at the border and sufficient U.S. Marshal’s detention space. Because of the large number of violators, not all parents could be criminally prosecuted. However, the increase in prosecutions would be reported by the media and it would have substantial deterrent effect. A public announcement of this policy could be made before implementation.

“Status Implement: CBP is currently executing this policy on an interim basis in the El Paso sector.” (Emphasis added.)

And another critical piece, the administration made it almost impossible to legally follow U.S. law by delaying entry for immigrants seeking amnesty at official, legal border crossings. Vox reports: “At San Ysidro and many of the other official crossings that line the US-Mexico border, families who have traveled thousands of miles, fleeing poverty and violence to seek asylum in the United States, have been stopped outside ports of entry before they can set foot on US soil and trigger their legal asylum rights.

Barriers block entry in Nogales, Ariz., a legal asylum is limited by metering. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

“Before 2016, and in some cases as recently as six months ago, they would have had no problem and no delay. But for the last several months, the Trump administration has made a practice of limiting the number of asylum seekers allowed to enter the US each day — a policy it calls ‘metering.’ It’s the counterpart of the Trump administration’s months-long crackdown on asylum seekers entering the US illegally — telling those who do try to come legally that there’s no room for them, and ordering them to wait.

“They don’t say how long the wait will be. And there’s no official way for asylum seekers to hold their spot or secure an appointment, no guarantee that they’ll ever be allowed to cross.” (Emphasis added.)

All this sounds like a bad movie. Almost impossible to believe. We are, aren’t we, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.

And yet our government has separated thousands of mothers and fathers and children. But most astounding of all our government has lost thousands of these children. And they may never be returned to their families. As Judge Sabraw noted, it shocks the conscience.

This is our national emergency.

––––––––––––––––––––

Sources

“Memorandum For The Executive Office For Immigration Review”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Dec. 5, 2017
https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1015996/download

April 6, 2018, Memorandum For Federal Prosecutors Along The Southwest Border
https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1049751/download?

Ms. L. et al versus United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, et al.
https://www.aclu.org/cases/ms-l-v-ice

“Sessions Says ‘Zero-tolerance’ For Illegal Border Crossers, Vows To Divide Families”
Richard Gonzales, May 7, 2018, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/07/609225537/sessions-says-zero-tolerance-for-illegal-border-crossers-vows-to-divide-families

“Sessions: Parents, children entering U.S. illegally will be separated”
Pete Williams, May 7, 2018, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/sessions-parents-children-entering-us-illegally-will-be-separated-n872081

“US officials likely lost track of nearly 6,000 unaccompanied migrant kids”
Franco Ordonez and Anita Kumar, June 19, 2018, McClatchy
https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article213430099.html

“Sessions Says Domestic and Gang Violence Are Not Grounds for Asylum”
Katie Benner, Caitlin Dickerson, June 11, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/us/politics/sessions-domestic-violence-asylum.html

“Transcript: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s Full Interview With NPR”
May 10, 2018, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/05/10/610113364/transcript-homeland-security-secretary-kirstjen-nielsens-full-interview-with-npr

“Kirstjen Nielsen Addresses Families Separation at Border: Full Transcript”
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/us/politics/dhs-kirstjen-nielsen-families-separated-border-transcript.html

“Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation”
Executive Order, June 20, 2018
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/affording-congress-opportunity-address-family-separation/

Fact Sheet: Zero-tolerance Immigration Prosecutions – Families
https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/06/15/fact-sheet-zero-tolerance-immigration-prosecutions-families

Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Classwide Preliminary Injunction
United States District Court, Southern District of California
Ms. L. et al versus United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, et al.
https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/83_order_granting_pi.pdf

“Federal Judge in California Halts Splitting of Migrant Families at Border”
Michael D. Shear, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Thomas Kaplan and Robert Pear
June 26, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/26/us/politics/family-separations-congress-states.html

Oct. 15, 2018, Joint Status Report
https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/ms-l-v-ice-joint-status-report-11

Nov. 8, 2018, Joint Status Report
https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/ms-l-v-ice-joint-status-report-12

Dec. 12, 2018, Joint Status Report
https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/ms-l-v-ice-joint-status-report-13

Government Response Declaration, Feb. 1, 2019
https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/govt-response-declaration

Government Response – Filing 1, Feb. 1, 2019
https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/govt-response-filing-1

Government Response Declaration 2, Feb. 1, 2019
https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/govt-response-declaration-2

“Family separation blasted by both parties at oversight hearing”
Camila DeChalus, Feb. 7, 2017, Roll Call
https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/family-separation-blasted-parties-oversight-hearing

“U.S. Government Says It Still Doesn’t Know How Many Migrant Children It Separated”
Arit John, Jennifer Epstein, Feb. 7, 2019, Bloomberg News
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-07/number-of-children-separated-at-border-still-unknown-u-s-says

“Migrant Family Separation Policy”
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Feb. 7, 2019, C-SPAN
https://www.c-span.org/video/?457545-1/gao-hhs-officials-testify-migrant-family-separation-policy

Fact Sheet:Unaccompanied Alien Children Program
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/orr/orr_fact_sheet_on_unaccompanied_alien_childrens_services_0.pdf

“The US has made migrants at the border wait months to apply for asylum. Now the dam is breaking.”
Dara Lind, Nov. 28, 2018, Vox.com
https://www.vox.com/2018/11/28/18089048/border-asylum-trump-metering-legally-ports

“Draft Memorandum – Policy Options to Respond to Border Surge of Illegal Immigration”
https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/72.6_-_3d_am.compl_._exh._5_leaked_memo_01-18-2019.pdf

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STEPHEN COHEN: Pictorial art and censorship

Can we turn our backs on our artistic heritage because the works make us uncomfortable or are not politically correct today even though they were created in a different world?

The dogless days of summer

Our children, at least the two-legged ones, are long gone. But the house was never emptier than after Percy left it.

I WITNESS: Is the sky really falling?

Instead of running his mouth, which is his typical modus operandi, Donald Trump is golfing and enjoying the spectacle of the Democratic Party doing what it does best: freaking out and cannibalizing itself, with plenty of help from media pundits.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

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