Mississippi Man! And He Sticks the Landing!!!!

6.8, 6.8, 3.2 from the Bulgarian judge – they’ve been very tough this year…

Stay alert, stay alive!

Open thread.



Ignore the Sideshow, Focus on the Main Event: Where are the Toddlers? Where are the Girls?

As BettyC posted, it is being reported that the President blinked and is going to use an Executive Order to back down and end the family separation policy that he and Attorney General Sessions implemented on the advice of Stephen Miller. The New York Times has the details (emphasis mine):

President Trump is preparing to issue an executive order as soon as Wednesday that ends the separation of families at the border by indefinitely detaining parents and children together, according to a person familiar with the White House plans.

Mr. Trump’s executive order would seek to get around an existing 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, that prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention — even if they are with their parents — for more than 20 days.

“We’re going to be signing an executive order in a little while,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday. “We’ve got to be keeping families together.”

The order would keep families together, though it is unclear how Mr. Trump intends to claim the legal authority to violate what have been legal constraints on the proper treatment of children in government custody, which prevented former President Barack Obama from detaining families together during a similar flood of illegal immigration two years ago.

And the president could quickly find himself the subject of another legal challenge to his executive authority, much the way he attacked Mr. Obama for abusing the power of his office with an immigration executive order in 2014.

While Mr. Trump’s actions appear to stop short of calls for an end to the “zero tolerance” policy, it would be a remarkable retreat for a president who has steadfastly refused to apologize in almost any other context. And it would be a testament to the political power of the images of the immigrant children to move public opinion.

People close to the president said he remains convinced that his immigration policies are appropriate and necessary. But Mr. Trump is said to be increasingly frustrated by the criticism he is getting, and aware that he is boxed in by the legal argument his administration has made.

Aides said that Mr. Trump is aware that his actions could once again be tied up in lengthy court battles. But the president and his allies believe that taking action would put pressure on Democrats by eliminating the criticism that Mr. Trump is separating children from their parents.

The lawyer who tweets as NYCSouthpaw is all over the shenanigans here:

Josh Marshall’s analysis is spot on:

The actual aim seems to be to pick a fight with the courts and allow separations to continue while blaming judges. According to The New York Times, the President will sign an executive order allowing children to be detained indefinitely with their parents. The problem is that that violates a 1997 consent decree saying that you can’t detain/imprison children for more than 20 days (technically what’s currently happening isn’t detention). It straight up violates that order. So what will almost inevitably happen is that a court will step in, say you can’t do that and then Trump will announce that the judge is forcing him to keep separating families.

The President telegraphed this during his remarks to the National Federation of Independent Business when he went on a rant about judges, especially immigration judges, how they were chosen, and that it was all a scam.

As far as appearances are concerned it looks like the President blinked. It looks like he’s deescalating and backing down in the face of all the negative imagery and the negative public response and push back. Keep the Trump Doctrine – “I will be treated fairly or else…” in mind. The President, as The New York Times reported, believes that his policies are “appropriate and necessary”. That all he’s doing is trying put America First and Make it Great Again! He will interpret the negative responses that he’s received as not being treated fairly. He is incapable of accepting defeat, especially a very public one that makes him look weak. An “or else” is coming. And it will likely be ugly and brutal!

But beyond the need to even the scales, DHS and HHS and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) still cannot account for all the toddlers and haven’t even tried to account for the girls. They don’t even have that information!!!

DHS, HHS, and ORR has no idea who a lot of these kids are, especially the younger and youngest (pre-verbal) ones. The younger ones may not know how to spell their names yet, if one parent has a different last name from the other, they may not know that either. And the pre-verbal ones can’t even answer these questions. And all of them have been traumatized unlike anything most of us can imagine, even with ProPublica’s publishing of the audio on Monday, which is going to make it even harder for them to identify themselves. I’m pretty sure DHS, HHS, and ORR actually don’t have much of an idea where they all are. And a significant amount of parents have been given no guidance on how to get their children back.

A skirmish has been won. A specific objective – rescinding the policies that separate families – has been partially achieved. This is positive. But these children are still at risk and in danger. The current administration, understaffed on purpose and by design in order to fail under a crisis, has no capability to actually resolve the crisis they’ve created. It is appropriate to take a bit of time today, catch your breath, relax and rest up, so that the pressure can be maintained and increased starting tomorrow. We need to keep asking where are the toddlers and where are the girls. And demanding answers to those two questions. We need to keep asking how the reunifications are going to happen because there is no plan in place to do this and it is clear they have don’t have even a partial clue as to how to make these reunifications happen.

We need to keep pushing for an end to not just the zero tolerance policy, but also a change to the policy within CBP to prevent anyone from entering at an official point of entry so they can claim asylum.

Get some rest, you all did good. But this battle is far from over. The President, the Republican Party, movement conservatism all need to be made to own this. If the GOP majority on the House Oversight Committee can, with straight faces, hold hearings on June 19, 2018 about Secretary Clinton’s emails to continue to run interference for the President and their own failures as a governing majority; the President, the GOP, and the movement conservatism and the white conservative Christians that enable and support them can all be made to own this and have it shoved in their faces every day until the end of time!

Updated at 4:15 PM EDT

Here’s the meat of the EO the President just signed:

#Where are the toddlers? #Where are the girls? #Republican concentration camps for kids!!!!!

Stay angry! Stay ready!

Open thread!



An ER Pediatrician Explains What She’s Observed Examining Babies Separated from Their Asylum Seeking Parents Who are in Foster Care

Tara Neubrand, MD is a pediatric emergency specialist in Denver. She has recorded her observations of the toddlers separated from their asylum seeking parents and placed into foster care who she has treated. Dr. Jennifer Gunter has posted the letters in her twitter feed.

Click to bring up the different parts of the letters.

 

Open thread!



Where are the Toddlers and the Girls?

MSNBC’s Jacob Soborrof who has been reporting on site in Texas on this for the better part of the past week repeats the question over and over:

And again:

He has reported on air on MSNBC today that he’s been informed that the news media will be provided by the government with pictures and videos of separated girls and toddlers being held in detention in two days. In the meantime they offered him:

The only reason that the government can’t or won’t provide photographic and documentary evidence immediately and will not allow journalists to take those pictures and make those videos themselves is to control the narrative. They need time to make sure everything looks presentable in the materials they are going to present to the public via the news media. They do not want and cannot afford to have another audiotape like yesterday’s, let alone a videotape, leak out and get published again. It is also why they will not allow Senators and Congressman to tour the facilities without advanced notice. Such as Senator Nelson (D-FL) this morning down at the facility in Homestead, FL.

MSNBC’s Julia Ainsely has reported that not only will it take years to reunite these children with their families, some will never be reunited at all. (emphasis mine)

The former head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told NBC News that migrant parents separated from their children at the border are sometimes unable to relocate their child and remain permanently separated.

Permanent separation. It happens,” said John Sandweg, who served as acting director of ICE under the Obama administration from 2013-2014.

Sandweg’s warning contradicts White House messaging that the separation of women and children migrants under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy is only temporary.

While a parent can quickly move from detention to deportation, a child’s case for asylum or deportation may not be heard by a judge for several years because deporting a child is a lower priority for the courts, Sandweg explained.

“You could easily end up in a situation where the gap between a parent’s deportation and a child’s deportation is years,” Sandweg said.

As a result, parents may find themselves back in their home countries struggling to find their children. Many do not have access to legal counsel or understand the U.S. immigration or judicial systems.

Children who stay in the foster system for lengthy periods of time may become wards of the state and finally adopted.

“You could be creating thousands of immigrant orphans in the U.S. that one day could become eligible for citizenship when they are adopted,” Sandweg explained.

Sandweg says he has seen permanent separation happen when a parent is deported without his or her child.

“This is why family unity was critical for us. With the numbers of families crossing ticking up, [the] Obama administration was concerned about children being left behind,” said Sandweg.

Speaking on Fox News Tuesday, White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp insisted the separations were short term.

“We have come to understand that these families who are separated, it is for a limited period of time between five to ten days,” Schlapp said.

Much more at the link.

Mercedes Schlapp, the daughter of Cubans who sought refuge and asylum in the US after her father was imprisoned and tortured for six years by the Castro government, is a liar and a hypocrite, but we already knew that.

I’ve spent a lot of time working with internally displaced Iraqis, on issues dealing with internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees in the Levant, and with USAID’s Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) officers. No one, not Mercedes Schlapp’s father in fleeing Cuba, nor people fleeing the collapse of the state and society in Guatemala, Honduras, and Venezuela, as well as other places, leaves everything behind, grabs their children, and walks hundreds and thousands of miles overland or traverses the same distances on the ocean, just because they want a chance to earn a few more dollars. The people that take these most desperate of measures, do so because as dangerous as it is, it is less dangerous than staying where they are. And they do so with only these thoughts in mind: at the end of the journey is safety, at the end of the journey is hope, at the end of the journey is the United States!

This was the belief that drove Stephen Miller’s maternal grandparents as related by his maternal uncle (emphasis mine):

“The Glosser family escaped Europe as dirt poor immigrants, joined the community, built businesses, and honestly sold goods to their fellow Johnstowners,” Glosser wrote. “My nephew and I must both reflect long and hard on one awful truth. If in the early 20th century the USA had built a wall against poor desperate ignorant immigrants of a different religion, like the Glossers, all of us would have gone up the crematoria chimneys with the other six million kinsmen whom we can never know.

I’m sure Stephen Miller’s maternal grandparents would be so proud that their grandson grew up to be exactly the kind of person they fled to the United States to get away from!

It was this same belief behind Senator Cruz’s father’s flight to safety from Castro’s Cuba. All so that Senator Cruz, a Latino-Canadian, could grow up to be a white supremacist from Texas! America truly is the land of opportunity…

Leaving the hypocrisy aside, the more important takeaway here is that a significant number of these children will never see their parents again as a result of a decision made by a Republican president. That not a single Republican senator or congressperson will do anything significant to stop. You know, the Republican Party – the party of family values! And given the size and scale of this new policy put in place by the President and Attorney General Sessions at the urging of Stephen Miller, as well as the haste and lack of planning that went into it’s implementation, we should expect that this number will be far, far higher than the failures that former Acting Director Sandweg related.

The simple truth here is that because of the size and scope of the President’s policy of separating children from their parents, significantly more children will never see their parents again. Moreover, because DHS and HHS know they can’t afford to let Americans, including US senators and representatives, see what is actually happening in real time, they are doing everything they can to control access and the flow of information; especially pictures, video, and audio. It reeks not just of covering their asses, but of Theresienstadt. And it should because the size and scope of implementing this policy is way beyond the ability of HHS to implement safely and effectively.

The more children they separate, the more they’re going to rely on contract solutions. I know a lot about contract solutions – I am one. And I can tell you that as they rush to do this in a hurry HHS is going to wind up defaulting to the lowest bidder who can argue effectively that they can provide the contract solution required. Or they’ll award a no bid to one of their existing omnibus contractors. Even if those companies have no idea how to do any of this work. Those companies will then quickly move to hire whoever is willing to do the work, regardless of actual/real qualifications. Instead of hiring a large cohort of social workers and licensed child care professionals and pediatric nurses and kindergarten, primary, and secondary teachers, you’re going to get whatever bodies they can hire, for the minimum amount of pay they can possibly offer, thrown at the problem. Children are going to suffer as a result of this. Beyond just the trauma of being forcibly separated from their parents. Children will suffer from neglect, from negligence. Some of these children will die. All in the name of putting America First in order to Make America Great Again. And so that Stephen Miller can own the libs…

This is going to get much, much worse before it get’s better.

Stay informed. Stay angry.

Open thread.



Here’s Your Plan of Action in Response to the President’s Policy Separating the Children of Asylum Seekers from Their Parents: Protests are Scheduled in DC and Around the Country for 30 June 2018

Walter Shaub has the details:

Here’s our tips for a safe protest experience.

For those looking to donate, there’s RAICES Family Reunification:

Here’s their donation link.

If you’ve got other groups you recommend donating to that are helping with this emergency solely created by the President, his Senior Advisor Stephen Miller, and Attorney General Sessions, please put them in the comments.

Take heart that what everyone is already doing is working. If it wasn’t, Senator Cruz – a Latino Canadian who moved to the US so he could become a white supremacist – wouldn’t be submitting even bad legislation in an attempt to change the subject ahead of the midterm elections.

Does anyone really think that Senator Cruz would be trying to do anything, even something bad that he could spin, if his internal polling for his campaign for reelection wasn’t showing that Congressman Beto O’Rourke wasn’t a serious threat? I expect that Cruz’s campaign polling is showing Beto as a very strong and credible threat. The campaigns’ internal polling in their states and districts, which they never release, is almost always much, much better than any other polling as they know what to ask, how to ask it, and who to sample and survey.

Stay angry, get organized, and get ready to mobilize!

Open thread.



This is the Sound of President Trump’s America

For those unable to listen or unwilling to subject themselves to it, here’s how ProPublica describes the recording (from The Texas Tribune because ProPublica’s server is overwhelmed):

The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know.

The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

Then a distraught but determined 6-year-old Salvadoran girl pleads repeatedly for someone to call her aunt. Just one call, she begs anyone who will listen. She says she’s memorized the phone number, and at one point, rattles it off to a consular representative. “My mommy says that I’ll go with my aunt,” she whimpers, “and that she’ll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible.”

An audio recording obtained by ProPublica adds real-life sounds of suffering to a contentious policy debate that has so far been short on input from those with the most at stake: immigrant children. More than 2,300 of them have been separated from their parents since April, when the Trump administration launched its “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which calls for prosecuting all people who attempt to illegally enter the country and taking away the children they brought with them. More than 100 of those children are under the age of 4. The children are initially held in warehouses, tents or big box stores that have been converted into Border Patrol detention facilities.

Much more at the link.

Given the audio above, Secretary Nielsen is obviously a liar:

Stay angry!

Open thread.



Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to Review the DOJ Inspector General’s Report Live Stream

Sorry I got to this a little late, but I was working on something offline. Anyhow, here is the live stream of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing to review the DOJ IG’s report. Testifying before the committee are DOJ IG Horowitz and FBI Director Wray. Things to watch for:

  1. The Republican members of the committee to hammer both Director Wray and IG Horowitz on who should be punished and why they haven’t/aren’t being punished. As well as the Republican members of the committee hammering IG Horowitz about why people connected to the Clinton’s weren’t/aren’t being prosecuted.
  2. The Democratic members of the committee inquiring about why the report doesn’t deal with the reported in the IG report significant anti-Clinton bias and leaks out of the NY Field Office of the FBI during the campaign. Senators Feinstein has already been all over this and Senator Leahy is now asking Director Wray about it.

Open thread!