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Trump and His Enablers Ripped Babies from the Arms of their Parents, and No One Has Been Held to Account

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Frank Sharry: “Our nation will not heal from the moral depravity of Trumpism unless and until we face up to what we as a nation have done.”


A horrifying New York Times report on draft findings from the Inspector General of the Department of Justice reveals that DOJ leaders were “a driving force” in the separation of thousands of children from their parents.

The report is filled with gut wrenching details of how the morally bankrupt family separation policy for asylum seekers was championed and implemented by personnel throughout the Trump administration, including then Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein:

‘We need to take away children,’ Mr. Sessions told the prosecutors, according to participants’ notes … Rod J. Rosenstein … went even further in a second call about a week later, telling the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were. He said that government lawyers should not have refused to prosecute two cases simply because the children were barely more than infants.

Key officials not only insisted on the full implementation of family separation policy as an intentional deterrence strategy, they were culpable in the failure to have even rudimentary processes to track and reunite families. As the forthcoming IG report states:

We found no evidence, before or after receipt of the memorandum, that D.O.J. leaders sought to expedite the process for completing sentencing in order to facilitate reunification of separated families.

The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

The separation of families is one of the worst human rights atrocities in American history. More than 5,000 families have been ripped apart in what amounts to state-sponsored kidnapping. Thousands of U.S. officials and agents were involved. To date, no one has been held accountable.

Pure evil. A nation that prides itself in offering refuge to those fleeing for their lives inflicted lifelong damage on young children in order to please a sadistic White House determined to slow the arrival of Brown refugees. 

This is one of America’s darkest chapters. It epitomizes the moral bankruptcy of the Trump presidency. It shows that for evil to flourish, more than an evil despot is required. Weak, cowardly and immoral enablers are needed to aid and abet the despot and his chief counselor.

The people who committed these human rights violations in our name and with our tax dollars need to be held to account. At a minimum, an independent commission or tribunal needs to be formed to ensure that those responsible are known and shamed, and that laws and policies are put in place to make sure we never again repeat these moral crimes.  

Family separation will go down in history alongside the turning back of refugees from Nazi-dominated Europe on the St. Louis in 1938, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and the repatriation of Mexicans during the 1930s and 1950s. A moment of truth is at hand. Our nation will not heal from the moral depravity of Trumpism unless and until we face up to what we as a nation have done.