Sheila Markin is a former Assistant US Attorney. She helps people to understand in plain English what is going on in US politics today. Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a post!
The fight is not over. Humanity only got us to first base. Zero Tolerance is still being enforced by the administration at the border which is shorthand for a policy that is determined to charge everyone they can with the crime of Illegal Entry (once they have a record they are eligible for deportation) even if they are valid asylum seekers and send them all back to their countries of origin. What the administration is planning to do now is to put children in prison with their mothers and fathers pending deportation. To do that the administration has to try to change the protective rules that came out of the Flores case.
The Flores case established oversight and supports for children to protect them from emotional damage. For example, children have to be held in licensed humane facilities that conform to requirements that include emotional support and counseling as well as standards of qualified staff and cleanliness etc. Clearly this is why these children who have been rendered unaccompanied minors by Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy and therefore legally separated from their parents are being shipped all over the country. Qualified shelters that conform to Flores are hard to find. Our country hasn’t been in the business of ripping children from their families and warehousing them in orphanages before this nightmare.
This is still a humanitarian crisis. Over 2300 children have been shipped all over the country and may not ever be reunited with their parents. There is no “grandfathering” of that group of children- meaning that our government is not going to try to make the effort to reconnect these children with their families of origin. In addition, reporters have not been given access to the shelters where babies and children are being held. The government is acting like this is some kind of Black Site Program with children held in secret for unknown amounts of time. These children are in crisis and may be emotionally damaged for life and Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller and Kirstjen Nielsen are the architects of this infliction of emotional distress. Shame on them!! It is squarely on them no matter what blather they put out there trying to pretend this is on the Democrats or some other nonsense.
We are not done here. We need to keep pushing back!!! Keep calling your Members of Congress especially if they are Republicans. Do not let them off the hook. Trump’s recent executive order does not end this humanitarian crisis.