[Discussion] Separating and/or Detaining Families at the US-Mexico Border

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Just figured we could collect this mess in one thread.

Yeah...

Edit: Edited to include the inevitable incarceration of families crossing the border.

Thanks for this thread. I would like some evidence disputing the two comments I keep seeing from my conservative friends/family:

1. That’s what you get when you try to jump the line instead of going through the proper channels (I have a good argument that it would be very difficult to immigrate legally if you’re running for your life, but would like to know more if immigrants have other channels for requesting asylum)

2. American children are separated from parents who commit crime every day and the liberal media doesn’t cry foul. Once again, doesn’t seem like the most compelling argument but perhaps there’s a greater argument to talk about how both migrant and American children are being institutionalized.

jdzappa wrote:

2. American children are separated from parents who commit crime every day and the liberal media doesn’t cry foul. Once again, doesn’t seem like the most compelling argument but perhaps there’s a greater argument to talk about how both migrant and American children are being institutionalized.

I have definitely seen this as well, its complete horsesh*t. Every liberal I know is concerned with prison reform, and trying to get better solutions to the for profit prison system. Specifics of it have been over shadowed by talk of the current administration lately but thats because they are a high level cause of the problem. There are hundreds of think pieces and articles about prisons.

Just reply back “you are right, that sounds exactly like what Jesus would say”.

So, let me get this straight. The man who, just last week, said that "only Congress" could stop him from putting children in concentration camps just signed an executive order to.... stop himself from putting children in concentration camps.

jdzappa wrote:

Thanks for this thread. I would like some evidence disputing the two comments I keep seeing from my conservative friends/family:

1. That’s what you get when you try to jump the line instead of going through the proper channels (I have a good argument that it would be very difficult to immigrate legally if you’re running for your life, but would like to know more if immigrants have other channels for requesting asylum)

2. American children are separated from parents who commit crime every day and the liberal media doesn’t cry foul. Once again, doesn’t seem like the most compelling argument but perhaps there’s a greater argument to talk about how both migrant and American children are being institutionalized.

1. Setting aside the issue of whether crossing the border should be a crime that is worthy of being locked up, it’s the severity of the punishment that is being disputed, not the fact of /a/ punishment. When I speed - a crime that has potential life-threatening implications - I get a fine. Why does crossing an imaginary line mean I and my children should be traumatized for life (not an exaggeration)? What possible justification aside from immediate danger is there for literally breaking up families?

2. What would the outcry look like if a policy change today meant that, as of tomorrow, if you were stopped for speeding with a child in your car, that child would be removed and put into government custody? That’s what is happening. A thing that previously did not is now costing people their children.

jdzappa wrote:

(I have a good argument that it would be very difficult to immigrate legally if you’re running for your life, but would like to know more if immigrants have other channels for requesting asylum)

From immigration services:

Obtaining Asylum in the United States
The two ways of obtaining asylum in the United States are through the affirmative process and defensive process.

Affirmative Asylum Processing With USCIS
To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process you must be physically present in the United States. You may apply for asylum status regardless of how you arrived in the United States or your current immigration status.

Though parts of their policy have, uh, recently changed:

Affirmative asylum applicants are rarely detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). You may live in the United States while your application is pending before USCIS. If you are found ineligible, you can remain in the United States while your application is pending with the Immigration Judge. Most asylum applicants are not authorized to work.

It's also becoming apparent that the people who are following the legitimate, government-specified asylum process are being detained and separated from their families:

OPB: Detainees In Oregon Say They Followed Asylum Process And Were Arrested

(Kirstjen Nielsen has been denying that it happens, but she's been denying a lot of stuff that just blew up in her face when the President issued an executive order about a policy she denied existed, so...)

This might also help:
WP: The facts about Trump’s policy of separating families at the border

These claims are false. Immigrant families are being separated primarily because the Trump administration in April began to prosecute as many border-crossing offenses as possible. This “zero-tolerance policy” applies to all adults, regardless of whether they cross alone or with their children.

The Justice Department can’t prosecute children along with their parents, so the natural result of the zero-tolerance policy has been a sharp rise in family separations. Nearly 2,000 immigrant children were separated from parents during six weeks in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The Trump administration implemented this policy by choice and could end it by choice. No law or court ruling mandates family separations. In fact, during its first 15 months, the Trump administration released nearly 100,000 immigrants who were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, a total that includes more than 37,500 unaccompanied minors and more than 61,000 family members.

The government could choose to release the families (which was the policy up until April). They could extend the accommodations for children to the adult members of their family. The could rescind the unnecessary zero-tolerance policy. They could do all kinds of things solve this problem, but not so long as the administration wants ICE to have their cake and eat it too.

jdzappa wrote:

1. That’s what you get when you try to jump the line instead of going through the proper channels (I have a good argument that it would be very difficult to immigrate legally if you’re running for your life, but would like to know more if immigrants have other channels for requesting asylum).

Ask your family and friends what lengths they'd go to to provide a better life for their children. Then ask them what they'd do to protect their children from people trying to hurt them or turn them to a life of crime.*

If they say they'd do anything then tell them to shut the f*ck up about immigrants because that's exactly what they're trying to do.

As for the "jump the line" bit, tell them that if a US citizen has a son or daughter living in Mexico who is over 21 they can expect to get to the head of the line and finally legally immigrate to America when they're 42. The line is literally more than two decades long. That's because our national immigration policy caps the number of people we'll let come to America each year and then we further cap the number of people we'll let in from particular countries.

My guess is that none of your friends or family members would wait two decades to protect and provide for their children and families and would risk crossing the border.

* If they bitch about immigrants coming from countries that are politically unstable and basically narcostates then point out that it's America's drug consumption and drug policies that have destroyed those countries. As much as Trump likes to talk about MS-13, he never talks about how America's immigration policies and the War on Drugs combined to arrest sh*tloads of MS-13 gang members, imprison them for long periods of time where they were further radicalized, and then immediately deport them back to El Salvador, which then had to (unsuccessfully) deal with being flooded by thousands of American-made criminals.

jdzappa wrote:

2. American children are separated from parents who commit crime every day and the liberal media doesn’t cry foul. Once again, doesn’t seem like the most compelling argument but perhaps there’s a greater argument to talk about how both migrant and American children are being institutionalized.

Undocumented immigrants who get stopped crossing the border are charged with improper entry. That's a misdemeanor federal crime that punishable by up to six months in jail and a civil (non-criminal) fine of up to $250.

That's roughly the equivalent to crimes they might be more familiar with, such as public intox, simple assault, vandalism, or reckless driving. Ask them if those crimes are severe enough to merit having your children being immediately stripped from you (and imprisoned in everything but name as well).

NathanialG wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

2. American children are separated from parents who commit crime every day and the liberal media doesn’t cry foul. Once again, doesn’t seem like the most compelling argument but perhaps there’s a greater argument to talk about how both migrant and American children are being institutionalized.

I have definitely seen this as well, its complete horsesh*t. Every liberal I know is concerned with prison reform, and trying to get better solutions to the for profit prison system. Specifics of it have been over shadowed by talk of the current administration lately but thats because they are a high level cause of the problem. There are hundreds of think pieces and articles about prisons.

I would add that yes it is true that children are not incarcerated with a parent that is sent to jail/prison, and presumably if they do not have a relative to turn to they become wards of the state (ultimately foster children I would guess). However, that would be after a verdict is rendered (setting aside the whole issue of bail and being in jail prior to and during a trial); in the case of the immigrants at the border today they are having their children separated from them with no clear path as to what will happen (e.g. will they enter the foster child system) while their parents are awaiting trial.

Thanks all. I honestly think in most cases my friends talking about this on Facebook are not actively supporting the policies but rather are taking a hard law and order stance. It’s good to remember that people are being arrested even if they follow protocol and the criminal charges are pretty low level.

I’m also very skeptical of Trump’s 180. There’s very little way for the public to prove that anything has changed.

To reinforce OG's point above, when our own little detention crisis was getting air my first response to both points was 'what would you do in the same situation with similar resources?' That ol' rebel spirit in rugged bootstrappy types gets all uppity at the sheer audicity of asking for a second of self-reflection, but it engendered a better response than voicing anything on the spectrum of fury I was feeling underneath.

In many ways I think this was intended as a deterrent to asylum seekers; you get locked up, even if you are genuine and can get work until your case is heard, you won't see your kids, and by the time the case is heard, your kids may not recognise you and you may be deported anyway.

Post backflip it is now similar to the Australian model of mandatory detention (imprisonment with a different name) for asylum seekers where families aren't separated but detained together. Only difference is that Australia detained asylum seekers in other countries and effectively bribed other countries to take them rather than on process and accept them on and into our country.

It's getting a lot of attention in Murica now because you guys are used to having a bill of rights and the language of rights whereas most of the population here are fairly unconcerned it's become a police/nanny state and prefer to ignore the plight of asylum seekers. It started here with the use of "illegal" as an expression to describe asylum seekers. The voter base here is largely ignorant of global politics and issues so that was very successful for the government. On the other hand, thanks to the war on drugs, Muricans tend to at least have social awareness that most of their illicit substances come from south of the border and the Latin American people flow across the border has been around for countless years. In addition, Christianity being what it is, focused on the institution of marriage and monogamy/nuclear family, naturally results in higher sensitivity when something expressly runs contrary to such an entrenched institution.

To add to that, refugee policy has been an election issue for quite a while in Australia - at least around the early 90's when we started the 'mandatory detention' policy. Since then there's been international tension, lies misinformation, media deterrence, and many, many deaths. So yeah, prepare for a long fight.

jdzappa wrote:

Thanks all. I honestly think in most cases my friends talking about this on Facebook are not actively supporting the policies but rather are taking a hard law and order stance. It’s good to remember that people are being arrested even if they follow protocol and the criminal charges are pretty low level.

I’m also very skeptical of Trump’s 180. There’s very little way for the public to prove that anything has changed.

I hate to cast aspersions at your friends, but the people I know who love "law and order" are mainly about maintaining the social order where white people are on top and minorities know their (subservient) places.

Do they actually care about immigration law or are they just using their "law and order" stance to hide behind so they don't have to admit that they don't want thousands of immigrants let into America because their real fear is that those immigrants will change (destroy?) American culture? And I suppose the least confrontational way to get a sense of that is just to ask them if they think that immigration is a positive or negative thing for America and why.

I think one of the many odious things being said right now by Right Wing mouthbreathers is the idea that these refugees should "stay in their own country and fight for change".

Many of them did that.

We murdered them.

That's why they are getting the f*ck out.

Paleocon wrote:

I think one of the many odious things being said right now by Right Wing mouthbreathers is the idea that these refugees should "stay in their own country and fight for change".

Many of them did that.

We murdered them.

That's why they are getting the f*ck out.

Just like our Founding Fathers stayed in England and fought for change!

IMAGE(https://imagesvc.timeincapp.com/v3/mm/image?url=https%3A%2F%2Ftimedotcom.files.wordpress.com%2F2018%2F06%2Ftrump-immigration-final.jpg&w=500&q=85)

Bfgp wrote:

In many ways I think this was intended as a deterrent to asylum seekers; you get locked up, even if you are genuine and can get work until your case is heard, you won't see your kids, and by the time the case is heard, your kids may not recognise you and you may be deported anyway.

Oh, absolutely. The administration has been suggesting this as a deterrent since almost literally day one: John Kelly was talking about it in February 2017. I wouldn't be surprised if someone thought they were clever for coming up with it during the campaign, or that they borrowed it from some think tank. (Probably Stephen Miller, given the reporting that he's one of the main architects behind it.)

Note that both US law and international law hold that seeking asylum is legal (and frequently protected). And many of these asylum seekers got here perfectly legally.

For that matter, there's no particular reason to detain the people who crossed illegally. It's a minor crime and we literally do not have the resources to prosecute everyone properly...so the administration's zero-tolerance policy was to lock everyone up and throw away the key. (Which is also expensive. It would literally be cheaper for us to pay every adult in detention for a $15/hour 40-days-a-week job than to continue to hold them indefinitely.)

OpEd: Families will no longer be separated at the border. But where are my clients’ kids? A Texas public defender says he can’t get answers for the parents who have already lost their children.

They've been shipping children to other states, and even if they start backpeddling on their do-nothing stance this is going to take years to sort out.
Independent: Hundreds of children separated from their parents and secretly flown to New York to tackle Trump’s immigration crisis
Immigrant Kids Taken From Parents Being Held In E Harlem: Mayor: More than 350 kids, the youngest just 9-months-old, have been held at the East Harlem facility after being taken from the southern border.

Newsweek: IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS 3 MONTHS OLD ARE BEING SEPARATED FROM PARENTS, MICHIGAN CIVIL RIGHTS DEPARTMENT SAYS
DFP: Torn from immigrant parents, 8-month-old baby lands in Michigan

I mean, here's how we treat the children we had detained before this latest thing even started:

AP: Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.

The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia, are detailed in federal court filings that include a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino teens jailed there for months or years. Multiple detainees say the guards stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads.

Texas Monthly: Southwest Key Hired Child Case Manager Previously Arrested for Child Pornography. The man, a former Border Patrol agent, worked directly with children.

A former Border Patrol agent who resigned from the agency after he was arrested on child pornography charges was later hired as a case manager at a major shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children in Brownsville, Texas Monthly has learned.

Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse
*not directly about the current border issue but this seems like the best thread for this.

Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.

The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia, are detailed in federal court filings that include a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino teens jailed there for months or years. Multiple detainees say the guards stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads.

"Whenever they used to restrain me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me," said a Honduran immigrant who was sent to the facility when he was 15 years old. "Strapped me down all the way, from your feet all the way to your chest, you couldn't really move. ... They have total control over you. They also put a bag over your head. It has little holes; you can see through it. But you feel suffocated with the bag on."

Welp, Trump is still blaming the Democrats for all immigration issues.

President Donald Trump continued his assault on congressional Democrats and Mexico over immigration Thursday, one day after signing his executive order designed to halt the separation of children from undocumented adults under his contentious "zero tolerance" policy.

Trump, speaking from the White House, lamented that he could not lure a sufficient number of Democratic senators to support a sweeping, GOP immigration bill.

"We need 10 Democrats, and we're not going to get them," he said. "They don't care about children ... They don't care about anything. All they are good at is obstructing."

Note that if the administration actually cared about anything other than looking tough and scary they wouldn't have ended the detention-alternative program that was actually working.

ICE shutters helpful family management program amid budget cuts: A successful program helping displaced immigrant families with a fear of returning to their home countries is shut down. The Trump administration has other priorities for the fiscal budget.

JUNE 9, 2017 HOUSTON—The Trump administration is shutting down the least restrictive alternative to detention available to asylum-seekers who have entered the US illegally, The Associated Press has learned.

Immigration activists consider the move a callous insult to migrants fleeing traumatic violence and poverty – nearly all the program's participants are Central American mothers and children – by a White House that has prioritized deportations that break up families over assimilating refugees.

"This is a clear attempt to punish mothers who are trying to save their children's lives by seeking protection in the United States," said Michelle Brane of the nonprofit Women's Refugee Commission. "I think it's crazy they are shutting down a program that is so incredibly successful."

The Family Case Management Program that is being shuttered had 630 families enrolled as of April 19. Essentially a counseling service, it has operated in Chicago, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and Baltimore/Washington, D.C., since January 2016. Social workers help participants find lawyers, navigate the overburdened immigration court system, get housing and health care, and enroll the kids in school.

Ms. Schlarb did not explain in the letter why ICE decided to shutter the program, whose contract had been renewed in September for a year.

"The families have thrived," wrote Schlarb, president of the GEO Group division that also manages the company's electronic-monitoring business. She noted that 99 percent of participants "successfully attended their court appearances and ICE check-ins." That includes more than a dozen families who were ultimately deported, added Brane, a member of a DHS advisory panel on family detention.

The Trump administration's fiscal 2018 budget request has other priorities. It seeks a $1.6 billion increase to expand detention and removals – and the GEO Group in April signed a $110 million contract with ICE to open a new 1,000-bed immigration detention center in Houston.

To qualify for the program, participants had proven in initial interviews a legitimate credible fear of returning to their home countries.

It is geared to "special populations, such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, families with very young children," said Sarah Rodriguez, an ICE spokeswoman.

Family case management cost the government $36 a day per family versus between $5-$7 per adult for intensive supervision. That compares to $319 per-person for a family detention center bed.

OG_slinger wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

Thanks all. I honestly think in most cases my friends talking about this on Facebook are not actively supporting the policies but rather are taking a hard law and order stance. It’s good to remember that people are being arrested even if they follow protocol and the criminal charges are pretty low level.

I’m also very skeptical of Trump’s 180. There’s very little way for the public to prove that anything has changed.

I hate to cast aspersions at your friends, but the people I know who love "law and order" are mainly about maintaining the social order where white people are on top and minorities know their (subservient) places.

Do they actually care about immigration law or are they just using their "law and order" stance to hide behind so they don't have to admit that they don't want thousands of immigrants let into America because their real fear is that those immigrants will change (destroy?) American culture? And I suppose the least confrontational way to get a sense of that is just to ask them if they think that immigration is a positive or negative thing for America and why.

I don’t think that’s a fair assumption in this case - for one several are not white. Almost all of them support legal immigration but worry about thousands of refugees becoming millions of refugees. Honestly, I share some of those worries and strongly disagree with the idea that borders shouldn’t exist. (Though of course I feel every refugee deserves respectful treatment and their day in court).

I can definitely say that there’s also not a good understanding of how borked our immigration laws currently are. I appreciate all the knowledge here and great resources. The cost alone of these detention centers makes a damn good case for my extended circle who are libertarian leaning.

jdzappa wrote:

Honestly, I share some of those worries and strongly disagree with the idea that borders shouldn’t exist.

This. Is. Not. The. Alternative.

Not detaining everyone is not the same as not stopping anyone. One of the reasons all (apparently; this is 2018) political conversations get so polarized is that one side or both sides almost always goes to 11.

"I disagree with minimum sentencing for drug possession." "Well we can't just let all the drug dealers out of prison!"
"I think there should be universal health care." "You can't just put all the heath care workers out on the street!"
"I don't think people should own assault weapons." "You can't come into my house and take all my guns!"

(This isn't at you specifically, jd.)

It's very difficult to have a reasoned and reasonable conversation when one or both sides take every argument to an illogical conclusion.

jdzappa wrote:

I don’t think that’s a fair assumption in this case - for one several are not white. Almost all of them support legal immigration but worry about thousands of refugees becoming millions of refugees. Honestly, I share some of those worries and strongly disagree with the idea that borders shouldn’t exist. (Though of course I feel every refugee deserves respectful treatment and their day in court).

I can definitely say that there’s also not a good understanding of how borked our immigration laws currently are. I appreciate all the knowledge here and great resources. The cost alone of these detention centers makes a damn good case for my extended circle who are libertarian leaning.

The alternative to what's happening now isn't that America's borders shouldn't exist. That's just straight up fear-based, right wing propaganda.

It's that our immigration laws shouldn't be so fracked up that it takes people who want to legally move here a decade or two to do so. Or that they don't account for people who want to come here to work (jobs that Americans don't want to do), send money home, and go back.

It's that yawning chasm between the these things that make people pay thousands of dollars to a coyote and roll the dice at the border or simply get a visa and overstay it.

And all of your friends that fear thousands of refugees or immigrants becoming millions should take a moment to really think about that position (we are literally a nation built on millions of immigrants) and take another very long moment to educate themselves about every wave of migration in our country's history where the incoming group was demonized by those that had gotten off the boat a few years or generations earlier.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

Honestly, I share some of those worries and strongly disagree with the idea that borders shouldn’t exist.

This. Is. Not. The. Alternative.

Not detaining everyone is not the same as not stopping anyone. One of the reasons all (apparently; this is 2018) political conversations get so polarized is that one side or both sides almost always goes to 11.

"I disagree with minimum sentencing for drug possession." "Well we can't just let all the drug dealers out of prison!"
"I think there should be universal health care." "You can't just put all the heath care workers out on the street!"
"I don't think people should own assault weapons." "You can't come into my house and take all my guns!"

(This isn't at you specifically, jd.)

It's very difficult to have a reasoned and reasonable conversation when one or both sides take every argument to an illogical conclusion.

I don't know, if a person thinks immigrants are a net positive for the economy--which is what liberals say all the time--it's a pretty logical conclusion that they'd want more immigrants.

Unless they're tired of all the winning, or something.

Is it really going to 11? How much of an exaggeration is it to say that people on the left kinda see the U.S. border as a huge chalk outline around a crime of historical proportions? Given the countries they are coming from in many cases, aren't people coming to the U.S. just seeking their reparations from a system that has kept them oppressed?

I don't think it's much of an exaggeration to say that liberals should logically support borders where any law enforcement restrictions on the free flow of people have nothing to do with something like nationality. That liberals don't just come out and say that is more about just playing nice with conservatives for now for politically pragmatic reasons.

jdzappa wrote:

The cost alone of these detention centers makes a damn good case for my extended circle who are libertarian leaning.

If they were truly libertarian, they would be *at least* as in favor of open borders as the liberals I described! What concern is it of a libertarian government if a person wants to move from one place to another?

Yeah the whole no borders thing isn’t coming from right wingers - it’s a stance I see a lot among liberal Seattle folks. Though maybe it’s the equivalent of “I love man tears” mugs.

I would say to the argument that children are being taken away from American parents for crimes that those crimes are primarily abuse and neglect.
It would be neglect and abuse for immigrant families to not try and flee to the U.S. based on U.S. recognized hazardous conditions in numerous countries across the world, let alone central and south America.

For alternatives, we could, say, abolish ICE since they were only established in 2003 and we did a pretty good job of policing our borders before that without their help.

Or, heck, maybe we could figure out how to reunite the thousands of children that we just separated from their parents?

NYT: First Step to Helping Children Sent to New York: Find Them

As reports came in of hundreds of children sent quietly to New York after being separated from their families at the southern border, consular officials from Central American countries scrambled to help.

Overnight, their jobs had changed from processing passports and visas from their offices in Midtown Manhattan and on Park Avenue to providing emergency humanitarian aid to children taken from their parents under a Trump Administration policy.

But the first step was finding them.

That process was thrown into more disarray on Wednesday when President Trump signed an executive order ending the policy that separated children from their parents. It appeared that children were continuing to arrive in New York as late as Wednesday night.

Consular offices are often involved in cases of unaccompanied migrant youth, especially when children want to return to their countries voluntarily. But this situation was “atypical,” according to José Vicente Chinchilla, the consul general of El Salvador, because they did not even know children separated from their families were coming to New York, let alone how many.

“To be honest, I don’t have a number,” he said on Wednesday, noting that the federal authorities had not responded to requests for information. “For the moment,” Mr. Chinchilla said, “there has been no contact.”

The federal agency that cares for unaccompanied minors — the Office of Refugee Resettlement — had not informed consular officials in New York of any shift in policy before news broke on Wednesday that more than 300 children had been sent to New York.

The idea that ICE was established in 2003 is very misleading. ICE, CBP, and USCIS were all created in 2003 as a decentralization of legacy INS. The functions that ICE performs have been in place for well over 50 years. They just got new titles in 2003.

Also, ICE does not police the border. They mange/detain/remove aliens ordered deported once they are in the country. CBP is the border patrol. They're also in the airports and seaports doing inspections.

All these functions, plus benefit granting which is now USCIS, used to fall under the Department of Justice. After 9/11 GWB decided there needed to be more delineation of duties and established DHS.

I'm not trying to defend anything that's going on down there. Frankly I know as much about the actual events in question as anyone else. I just want to clarify some possible confusion where applicable.

Also, I feel compelled to mention, perhaps against my better judgment, that not all allegations should be accepted at face value. Attorneys cook up nonsense allegations pretty frequently in dealings with USCIS. I've seen a fair and compassionate officer accused of slapping his handcuffs on the desk when interviewing a USC petitioner (we do not have handcuffs). Not to say there aren't bad apples, of course. I work with one avid female Trump supporter who I wish would quit.

That's fair--though the way they enforce immigration crackdowns has definitely changed recently, and we're apparently overdue as a nation for a discussion on how we handle it. As for the allegations, I think there would be significantly fewer issues with that if, say, United States Senators were allowed access to the detention sites. Not to mention that the details we do know (like separating them from their parents) are incredibly traumatizing on their own even before we get to the conditions they are being held in.

For those not following in detail, a quick summary of how the detention policies have changed over time:
NYT: How Trump’s Policy Change Separated Migrant Children From Their Parents

New Yorker: A Physician in South Texas on an Unnerving Encounter with an Eight-Year-Old Boy in Immigration Detention

But then the Trump Administration began to enforce a “zero tolerance” approach toward migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that included separating parents from their children. (The President apparently revoked the policy on Wednesday.) The number of young children in detention facilities rose sharply. “The population I’ve been starting to see is younger, and it scares me,” Hart said. “These are little people, little babies. And they are ill-equipped to fend for themselves. They’re so totally traumatized. They don’t cry like normal kids. They don’t interact like normal kids.”

ProPublica: For a 6-Year-Old Snared in the Immigration Maze, a Memorized Phone Number Proves a Lifeline
As the U.S. attempts to reunite migrant families, children will bear the burden of helping to identify who and where their parents are. The 6-year-old girl heard asking to call her aunt on an audio recording from a detention facility this week has an advantage.

Jimena’s insistent pleas for a phone call at a Border Patrol detention facility, captured on an audio recording provided to ProPublica, quickly became the searing incarnation of what the Trump administration is doing to children. Almost instantly, Jimena’s voice was everywhere; listened to millions of times in homes, at protests, and even the White House press briefing room. The seven-minute audio crystallized the impact the policy was having on children, stirring outrage.

Spiegel: 'As an American, I Feel Deeply Ashamed': U.S. President Donald Trump says he has put an end to the separation of migrant families. But 2,300 children remain incarcerated with no plan in place to reunite them with their parents. Human rights lawyer Michael Bochenek has visited them.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Bochenek, you recently spent time in two detention centers for immigrants and their children in Texas. What did you see?

Bochenek: The first one was a facility where people are placed right after apprehension at the border. They call those facilities "hieleras" (freezers) because they're kept unreasonably cold. The cells are very, very small and yet they hold up to 30 people. They have concrete floors and concrete benches lining the walls.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why so cold?

Bochenek: We were never given a good explanation for the cold. The border patrol said they keep the cells at a comfortable temperatute. But some are only around 55 degrees (13 degrees Celsius). You can imagine what that feels like if you're sitting on a concrete bench in wet clothing.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Because once you're charged, your child is separated from you by law. (Trump's executive order instructs the Department of Justice to change that, but it's a cumbersome process that could take some time.)

Bochenek: Yes. The kids immediately go to a different facility. That facility is a large, warehouse-type arrangement with what looked like cages made from chain-link fencing. The migrants who have been there refer to it as the "dark kennel" because they feel like they're being held like animals.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How are these kids dealing with the situation?

Bochenek: They are completely traumatized with no sense of what happens next. There were no caregivers looking out for them, only uniformed guards checking off lists of names. The children are sitting in a detention facility, with the lights on 24 hours a day.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why are the lights kept on? That borders on torture.

Bochenek: They told us it was for security reasons. It certainly doesn't comply with national or international standards in any sense.

The Hill: Schiff: Nielsen privately said family separations could resume

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Thursday said that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has privately told lawmakers that the Trump administration's family separation practice could resume despite the president signing an executive order to end the practice.

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