Government reveals for the first time that more than 400 adults have been deported without their kids. But that’s just the tip of this ugly iceberg:
Total number of children separated from their families: 2,551
Parent(s) deported without their kids: 463
Adults released into the interior US (without their kids): 217
Parent(s) “waived” unification: 130
Class members reunified in ICE custody: 879 (out of 2,551)
WHERE ARE THE KIDS?
Keep asking the question. Trump’s “treatment of families at the border” is THE number one issue that unites more Americans against Trump and his complicit Republicans in Congress than any other. More, even, than Trump’s cozying up to Vladimir Putin.
According to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of voters from July 15-18, 2018, 58 percent disapprove of Trump’s family separation policy. Fifty-one percent disapprove of his handling of Russia.
Keep digging and the story keeps getting uglier. As of July 22, this was the report from the US government operating in the name of every American:
— One-third of the almost 3000 kids subject to the court’s reunification order are either “ineligible for reunification or not yet known to be eligible.” Note the government’s lawyerly rhetorical shift in the burden of proof: Kids are presumed ineligible until the government decides otherwise.That looks like the kind of legal sleight-on-hand that one of Trump’s enablers with a law degree would develop. Yes, I’m looking at you, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar (JD, Yale ’01)
— Parents of another 136 children “waived their right to be reunited.” Whoa. They gave away their children forever? Through what process? Apparently by violating international right of every immigrant to seek asylum: “Immigrant Parents Face a Dilemma: Will Making an Asylum Claim Make it Harder to Reunite with Their Kids?”
— Parents of 91 more kids had “prohibitive criminal records or were otherwise deemed ineligible” for reunification. “Prohibitive” — by what standard? “Deemed ineligible” — by whom?
How did this happen?
Trump and the GOP have no answer to that one. One proffered excuse: “They shouldn’t have come to the US border.” That ignores the human right under international law of every person to seek asylum. In the US, federal immigration courts have been granting almost half of such requests.
Likewise, the first time offense of arriving at the border illegally is a misdemeanor. Ask any defender of Trump’s family separation policy to name a single misdemeanor for which the punishment is the permanent loss of the alleged perpetrator’s child. Proven child abuse is one thing, but not even the most ardent Trump defender is arguing that such behavior accounts for the almost 3,000 kids separated from their families. Even murderers serving life sentences are permitted visits from family members.
Every week, one of the darkest episodes in American history becomes darker. And Trump’s distracting antics push the story farther and farther away from the front page where it belongs.
Keep repeating it.
And keep pushing the media to cover the individual faces that accompany this ongoing tragedy. Make it real. Make it personal. It’s not about what Trump calls “vermin” and “infestation.” It’s about innocent kids and how America’s Republican-controlled government is treating them.