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The Trump Administration's Family Separation Lies, Laid Bare

July 17, 2018 in Economics

By David Bier

David Bier

District Court Judge Dana Sabraw questioned this weekend whether the Trump
administration is committed to the reunification of children
separated from their parents at the border after it told him that
it would seek to delay the process. While the lawsuit that prompted
the exchange and others like it have so far failed to bring an end
to this government-created crisis, they have exposed the
government’s feeble defenses that officials used for weeks
to back up the practice.

The central claim was that family separation “is the
law,” as White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
put it. Yet in court, the administration
admitted that “these are discretionary
immigration actions” — discretionary, not mandatory.
Nothing in the law required children to be separated from
their families. That was just the administration’s
choice.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen provided another defense. The
agency was “not separating families legitimately
seeking asylum at ports of entry,” only those crossing
illegally. But Sabraw found the opposite, stating that the policy
“has resulted in the casual, if not deliberate, separation of
families that lawfully present at the port of entry, not just those
who cross into the country illegally.”

At this point, it is
apparent that officials simply don’t want to admit what it is now
clear: there was never any good reason to separate them in the
first place.

Nielsen eventually admitted that this occurs, but claimed that it only
happens “if the child is in danger” or “there is
no custodial relationship between ‘family’
members.” Yet Sabraw found that this was untrue as well. The woman
in the case “was separated from her child without a
determination she was unfit or presented a danger to her
child” at a legal port of entry.

In a similar vein, Nielsen tweeted that “there is no reason to break the
law and illegally cross between ports of entry.” But a
separate lawsuit—backed by 900 pages of testimony—documents that the
government has a “practice of turning away asylum seekers,
including families with small children, who present themselves at
Southwestern ports of entry—a practice that encourages
unlawful entry and thus artificially increases such
violations.”

Nielsen even admits this is happening too — going so far
as to label it “metering” (i.e.
capping the number of people admitted each day). This means that
the government is simply ignoring the lawrequires the government process asylum claims.
The practice forced desperate families to live for days or weeks homeless under
bridges in Mexico. “No reason” …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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