June 20, 2018

Family separations in ICE cages end; what next?

Here's the Trump executive order ending the family separations.

(Update: Trump Admin says it will NOT apply to already separated families. So, how do we know it will be applied to new cases. This is a man who wakes up with a lie teed up for Twitter.)

So now, to the "what next"?

First, beyond any current "tent cities" that will be used for whole families, read Section 3. Per subsection (c), military bases will be used next, either with tent cities, or with unused barracks. (The Pentagon has now agreed to provide space for 20,000.) If there are former military bases that have been closed but not for too too long, that might come next. (Actually, it looks like they could come first.) Per subsection (d), note that other federal agencies have already been tasked about making facilities available.

Second, the fact that those two subsections are spelled out in his executive order means that Trump has in no way capitulated in his "no tolerance" stance.

Third, this will surely violate the Flores Settlement. That's what Trump and administration mouthpieces, along with Havana Ted Cruz and other Rethug Congresscritters, have (I think, god knows??) been referring to in claiming there is a law requiring family separations.

No there's not. And Trump's EO indicates there's not. And that his administration and those mouthpieces (tho maybe not Donald himself) have known this all along.

Obama was sued over violating the Flores Settlement in 2015. And lost. And lost with good reason, in the middle of his own "no-tolerance," or near it, that earned him the title of Deporter in Chief. That's also because he grossly expanded immigration law enforcement from where Bush had it, as The Nation noted in 2016. More background here. Trump has already indicated he'll fight and invite suits. Dara Lind says that's surely deliberate; Dolly Gee, the district judge who ruled against Obama, still has control from the bench of Flores Settlement issues. Trump spox Gene Hamilton at the Department of Justice indicated the administration will try to ratchet up PR against Gee just as if she were a Member of Congress.

Fourth, note the title of the EO: "Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation." He's already trying to punt the PR snafu back to the Hill.

Fifth, both duopoly parties have contributed to problems that have led to flight from Central America. This long and growing Twitter thread of mine has details. That's even as the National Endowment for Democracy, a bipartisan foreign policy establishment, boasts about plans to destabilize Nicaragua.

Sixth, family-based detention centers already exist and aren't quite full yet.

Seventh, a reminder to wingers. "Illegal presence" is a civil offense only. Only "illegal entry" is a criminal case, and like any other criminal case, must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. That's why immigration lawyers caution immigrants apprehended inside our borders not to talk to police without an attorney present. And, immigrants are entitled to many, though not all, Constitutional protections.

Finally, John Horgan is right. Let's not forget about all the children in the Middle East U.S. presidents of both parties have killed in the War on Terra.


And as of the start of July, the "what next" of Trump is to tell ICE to threaten family separations again if they try to get asylum hearings.

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