August 23, 2018

THE ANTI-FAMILY rIGHT:

Will Anyone in the Trump Administration Ever Be Held Accountable for the Zero-Tolerance Policy? (Jonathan Blitzer, August 22, 2018, The New Yorker)

Since the middle of July, a group of some twenty government officials has been gathering each week at the headquarters of Customs and Border Protection, in Washington, D.C., to discuss what the Trump Administration should do in the aftermath of the President's failed zero-tolerance policy. The policy, which called for the criminal prosecution of anyone crossing the border illegally, and led to the separation of more than twenty-five hundred children from their parents, has coincided with a broader effort to dismantle the U.S. asylum system. Yet the government never had a plan for keeping track of the separated parents and children once they were in custody, and, even after a federal judge in San Diego, Dana Sabraw, ordered the government to reunite them, it struggled to comply. "I definitely haven't seen contrition," an Administration official, who told me about the weekly meetings, said. "But there was frustration with the incompetence of how zero tolerance got implemented. From the perspective of the political leaders here, there's recognition of how badly the policy failed." The lesson, according to the official, didn't seem to be that the Administration had gone too far in separating families but, rather, that "we need to be smarter if we want to implement something on this scale" again.

The meetings--which, the official said, were first called by a team at the White House that reports directly to Stephen Miller, the President's senior adviser on policy--include representatives from the Department of Justice, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security. The main focus, the official added, has been to "map out" how the government can detain asylum seekers as they wait for a hearing before an immigration judge, which can take several months: "The job is to model all the steps in the process. If we go after families, where do we detain them?"



Posted by at August 23, 2018 4:32 AM

  

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