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Washington Post Editorial: “Trump’s latest anti-immigrant gambit: Family separation 2.0”

 

The Washington Post editorial board denounced the Trump administration’s evident plans to restart the immoral practice of taking children from their parents at the border.

The Washington Post editorial is excerpted below and available in full here:

The September numbers have triggered alarms in Washington, and rightly so; it is in no one’s interest — not the United States’, and not Central American countries’ — to countenance a northward deluge of parents and children. However, the response under consideration by the administration, which amounts to a fresh push to break up families, is no solution. It would be another manufactured humanitarian calamity that would further deplete U.S. prestige while doing nothing to address the epidemic of violence driving Central Americans to leave their homes.

Family separation 2.0, as conceived by the White House, would present migrant parents with what officials call a “binary choice.” They could remain with their children in detention for months or years — the waiting period reflects the huge backlog in immigration cases — or give them up to the government, which would place them in shelters until other relatives or guardians could seek custody. Aside from the fact that there is nothing approaching the capacity in existing detention centers to absorb even a reduced flow of family migrants, the administration’s blueprint may not be legal. As a deterrent, it is also unlikely to work. Fiscal year 2018’s record number of family members detained along the southwestern border coincided with the uproar over family separations last spring.

It’s worth bearing in mind that while arrests of families have soared, the overall number of apprehensions in the past year, at just under 400,000, is still among the lowest in the past 45 years. It’s also worth remembering that Congress would have happily given Mr. Trump a deal, allowing him to build his wall in exchange for legal status for “dreamers,” immigrants brought here as children who are American in all but their documents. As he inflames his base on the campaign trail, we’re seeing why the president wouldn’t take yes for an answer.

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, adds:

It is a moral stain on America that the Trump administration has ripped apart thousands of children from their families in a failed attempt to deter Central Americans fleeing violence. Now, it is widely expected that Trump will restart this horrific practice in a matter of days. That’s why he’s pumping up attention to the caravan from Central America. He wants to distract voters from issues such as healthcare, he wants to divide the country in hopes of hanging onto power, and he wants to rationalize a sadistic and cruel policy that is unacceptable to the majority of Americans.