Saturday, October 24, 2020

Republican Family Values: Where's Mama?

By Emma Goldman
Spy Immigration Correspondent

What happens when a debate is moderated by someone who's smart and not a white man in a suit?  We found out last Thursday, when NBC News's Kristen Welker '98 had the temerity to ask Pres Super Spreader about his policy of yanking babies away from their mother's breasts because mom was legally seeking asylum in the United States.

Her question was perhaps prompted by the revelation that at least 545 of these babies and children had not been reunited with their deported parents because no one in U Bum's regime thought to keep track of which child belonged to which parent.  

545 kidnapped kids are still waiting
to be reunited with mom and dad
Instead of moving heaven and earth and the various U.S. bureaucracies to track down these parents and reunite them with their traumatized children, the U Bum regime has in effect outsourced the job to nonprofit agencies who lack the resources (like armed security) to do the job:

The ACLU and others say the effort to locate the still-separated families has been hindered by incomplete government reports as well as conditions on the ground in the children’s native lands, including gang violence, remote villages, and now, the coronavirus pandemic.

With the elections less than two weeks away, the updated numbers ignited fresh outrage about one of the Trump administration’s biggest debacles, and one that sharply divided members of his Republican Party. 

Democrats seized on the new filing to remind voters that the family separations remain unresolved.

“Every day it seems we uncover new horrors perpetrated by President Trump and his administration,” Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival, said in a tweet.

It's one thing to work for the ACLU and give up the lush income of a big-firm lawyer (we'll get back to this).  It's another to lay down your life for it in the back woods of El Salvador and other places where human lives can be bought and sold for maybe 100 U.S. dollars. 

The 545 figure by the way is the number of cases the agencies are working on.  The actual number of children ripped from their parents by U Bum's  2018 “zero tolerance” policy is apparently unknowable:

Because of these IT deficiencies, we could not confirm the total number of families DHS separated during the Zero Tolerance period. DHS estimated that Border Patrol agents separated 3,014 children from their families while the policy was in place. DHS also estimated it had completed 2,155 reunifications in response to a court order, although this effort continued for 7 months beyond the July 2018 deadline for reunifying children with their parents. However, we conducted a review of DHS data during the Zero Tolerance period and identified 136 children with potential family relationships who were not accurately recorded by CBP. In a broader analysis of DHS data between the dates of October 1, 2017, to February 14, 2019, we identified an additional 1,233 children with potential family relationships not accurately recorded by CBP.  Without a reliable account of all family relationships, we could not validate the total number of separations, or reunifications.

And that's from that well-known pinko liberal pressure group, the Office of the Inspector General of the, wait for it, Department of Homeland Security.

You might think that a policy of forcible family separation would have been accompanied by a plan to reunite those families, at least in their native countries.  But you'd be overestimating the competence and underestimating the cruelty of the architects of this crime against humanity and the lackeys who carried it out.

Speaking of those mild-mannered functionaries who were only following orders, let's welcome into the dock former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, shown here in his new role as a commentator for CBS News coverage of the space program [Surely, a partner of King & Spalding, a ginormous fancy high-priced law firm? – Ed.]:


The indictment against this f**kin' guy requires a little tedious legal background.  To provide a threadbare legal rationale for wrestling nursing babies away from their mothers, the U Bum regime came up with the idea, also known to the Bush Administration, of indicting the parents for the misdemeanor charge of unlawful border crossing (although whether that law applies to those lawfully claiming asylum remains unresolved).

They had to file criminal charges because legally the immigration agencies cannot separate families.  But if mom is subject to arrest and detention in the criminal justice system, even though accused non-violent misdemeanants are usually released before trial in state systems, then mom could be hauled off by the Department of “Justice” while the child vanished into night and fog.

But Federal prosecutors are supposed to consider not only law but justice in making their discretionary charging decisions.  In the case of the babies and their accused misdemeanant parents, here's how it went down, according to The New York Times:

More specifically, Rod Rosenstein turned down prosecutors who had qualms about the selection process:

Rod J. Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, 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.

“Those two cases should not have been declined,” John Bash, the departing U.S. attorney in western Texas, wrote to his staff immediately after the call. Mr. Bash had declined the cases, but Mr. Rosenstein had overruled him. “Per the A.G.’s policy, we should NOT be categorically declining immigration prosecutions of adults in family units because of the age of a child.”

It must be such a thrill for clients of King & Spalding like Xerox, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Delta Air Lines and other blue-chippers to know that they can be represented by a man who committed actionable crimes against humanity while in government service.

How did we get here?  Surprisingly for us, we've got bipartisan blame to hand out, although of course President Tiny Toadstool and his Trumpublican enablers bear sole responsibility for the bestial family-separation policy itself and the shambolic cruelty with which it was carried out.

But we should pause to remember that outrageous human rights violations and the Republican Party go together like Dick Cheney and waterboarding, even if the only ones punished were clueless low-level troops who had to administer the fun:

The Republicans got away scot-free with torture under the Bush Administration.  Why then should Ron J. Rosenstein worry about a little child stealing?  Especially when the Obama Administration decided in a spirit of unreciprocated amity not to prosecute high-level Bush hacks for their crimes.

And speaking of the Obama Administration, when Pres PAB tried to deflect the blame for his monstrous child abuse policy by noting that the cages in which the newly-created orphans were held had been installed by his predecessor, he was – right.  It had nothing to do with child kidnapping, but according to real journalists at The Washington Post, on the question of who built the cages:

The article goes on to describe how the cages were actually used to subdivide portions of a warehouse used to detain different types of immigrants while allowing for ventilation.  And why were immigrants chucked into some warehouse to begin with?

The Obama administration responded to the outrage by rushing to expand its capacity to handle the new migration wave at the border, to adapt an infrastructure build to handle single adult men, not families and children.

That's not really the complete answer. The Obama Administration could have released these folks with notices to appear in Immigration Court and GPS bracelets but instead chose to immure them in an excellently-ventilated warehouse.

Why?  Supposedly to discourage others desperate to flee violence and persecution:

And even that's not the full story.  The point of the cages was not to deter other immigrants so much as it was to deter attacks on Democrats as “soft” on undocumented immigrants before the 2014 elections (which the Dems lost big-time) and somehow to gain Republican support for bipartisan immigration reform.  That worked out about as well as you would expect.

What have we learned from this sorry tale?  A few things:

1.  Letting Republicans get away with torture and other human rights abuses doesn't lead to kum-bay-yah.  It only provides them with incentives to try other horrible deeds on the theory that they will be able to get away with them and then make millions from the corner office of a fancy law firm.

2.  Turning over immigration policies to supposed centrists and moderates who built the body-snatching apparatus we have today is not a political winner for Democrats.  It only comes back to Biden you on the ass when you need the support of every Latinx voter you can get.

3.  Even by the standards of huge law firms, King & Spalding has terrible taste in partners.

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