Where are the kids?
It’s Kids Held Hostage Day 113. The federal government is moving at a snail’s pace to remedy the humanitarian crisis that Trump created. Here are the details:
Kids still separated from their families:
As of Aug. 16: 565
As of Aug. 23: 528 — 23 are under the age of five
Kids separated because the US government deported their parents without them:
As of Aug. 16: 366
As of Aug. 23: 343 — six of them are under five
Meanwhile, many of the parental “waivers” on which the government relied to improve its earlier metrics are dropping away. The number of parents now “indicating a desire against reunification” — that’s Trumpspeak for “waiving their parental rights” — decreased from 154 to 139. Expect that number to continue falling as the affected parents learn how the government misled them into signing away their kids and/or their international right to seek asylum.
At the current rate, it will take months to reunite the remaining 500+ kids with their families — assuming the government can find them. That’s a big assumption. So far, for 79 of the children, there is either no phone number for a parent or the government provided an inoperable one. Under the banner of the United States of America, Trump has orphaned kids forever.
Who Cares? No One in Trump’s Government
In a recent article for The New Yorker, Jonathan Blitzer writes, “‘I definitely haven’t seen contrition,’ an Administration official, who told me about the weekly meetings [among 20 Trump Trump administration officials dealing with the aftermath of the zero-tolerance policy], said. ‘But there was frustration with the incompetence of how zero tolerance got implemented. From the perspective of the political leaders here, there’s recognition of how badly the policy failed.’ The lesson, according to the official, didn’t seem to be that the Administration had gone too far in separating families but, rather, that ‘we need to be smarter if we want to implement something on this scale’ again.”
Blitzer continues, “The government’s own data show that it has had no appreciable effect on migration patterns throughout the summer, but the Administration pursued the policy anyway, targeting immigrant families.”
A Character Test for Every American
“I asked the current Administration official whether the outcry over family separation had caught the government by surprise,” Blitzer concludes. “It had, the official said. ‘The expectation was that the kids would go to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, that the parents would get deported, and that no one would care.’ Yet, when it became clear that the public did, the Administration chose not to change course.”
There’s the money quote: Trump’s expectation was that “no one would care.” That’s because he didn’t. In November, it will be up to American voters to prove Trump wrong by forcing his GOP enablers in Congress into another line of work.