ICYMI: Editorial Boards Criticize Trump Administration’s Immigration Policies

Editorial Boards Criticize 'Zero Compassion' Family Separation Policy, Flores Decision, and DACA Rescission

Wanted to make sure you’d seen three new pieces from the editorial boards of The Washington Post and the New York Times on the Trump Administration’s cruel policies of family separation, termination of key protections for children and families under the Flores Settlement, and their repeated attempts to end DACA. Both outlets recognize the arbitrary cruelty of these policies, designed to traumatize vulnerable children and families, put hundreds of thousands of hardworking young people at risk of deportation, and ultimately make it easier to deport undocumented individuals across the board.

Key excerpts below:

New York Times // Don’t Let Migrant Kids Rot

“On Thursday, [DHS] proposed new regulations that would allow the government to detain migrant children indefinitely… the new rules would likely open the door to an expansion of detention centers across the country…

Youth migrant shelters — there are roughly 100 such facilities housing more than 10,000 minors across the country — have been cited for a long list of abuses, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, blatant medical neglect, the forcible injection of antipsychotic medications, the unlawful restraint of children in distress and harsh rules that prohibit even siblings from hugging one another. The shelters in question, several of which are facing lawsuits, are part of a network that has received billions of federal dollars in the past four years alone. That money has continued to pour in even as abuse allegations have multiplied.

… The administration bears unique responsibility for these violations, in no small part because its disastrous and short-lived separation policy has wreaked havoc on a system that was already rife with problems. Shame alone should have federal officials working hard to undo the damage of that policy and to prevent further harm to the children under their charge, never mind that it’s the right thing to do under any number of international agreements and norms.”

The Washington Post // First they separated families. Now they’re incarcerating children.

“The Trump Administration ripped more than 2,600 migrant children from their parents’ arms with no plan or procedures for reuniting them, resulting in some 500 children remaining effectively orphaned even today, five months after the fact. Now it proposes a new policy for jailing migrant children indefinitely, one that ensures they ‘are treated with dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors.’ …

That assurance, along with its rich irony, is offered by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen … who was instrumental in executing the zero-compassion policy that traumatized so many toddlers, grade-schoolers, tweens and teens this spring and summer, [who] now would have Americans believe her department recognizes children as particularly vulnerable human beings, deserving of dignity and respect. How will that dignity and respect be meted out when those children are confined, along with their parents, in long-term detention facilities that the administration now proposes to build?…

It is legitimate to take concrete steps to ensure that migrant families appear in immigration court when ordered to do so. Ankle bracelet monitors, bail and other means of achieving that have been effective, and their use can be expanded. What’s less effective, and at odds with American values, is the administration’s abiding faith in punitive measures where children are concerned. There’s no evidence that they work to cut illegal border-crossing; there’s plenty of evidence of their cruelty.”

The Washington Post // Even this ultra-conservative judge rejects Trump’s argument on DACA

“It would be hard to find many federal judges more sympathetic to the Trump administration’s immigration policies than Andrew S. Hanen, who… in 2015, blocked [the Obama Administration’s] effort to shield from deportation millions of undocumented immigrants, including parents of U.S. citizens and other legal residents… Still, even for Mr. Hanen it was too much, and too destructive, to yank similar but existing protections from “dreamers”… granted temporary lawful status and work permits in 2012 by the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

… Mr. Hanen refused a request from nine states, led by Texas, that he halt DACA, a move that would upend the jobs, educations and lives of nearly 700,000 teens, 20- and 30-somethings who have grown up in this country and share every attribute of Americanness save proof of citizenship… The difference, [Hanen] noted, is that… DACA was implemented and has now been in effect for six years… during which [DACA recipients have] lived lives as rooted in the United States as Mr. Hanen’s own.

… Despite his hawkish rulings on previous immigration cases, the judge wrote that he agreed with a federal court in Maryland that said the question of whether to allow DACA recipients to ‘continue contributing their skills and abilities to the betterment of this country is an issue crying out for a legislative solution.’”

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