I don't need to repeat all the bad news on immigration this week (although I may do a little of that). Instead, I'll begin by focusing on how grassroots activists, advocacy groups, and even some politicians are organizing to quash the oppressive and inhumane policies being propagated by the executive branch in the name of spurious national security interests.
Yesterday, Quixote Center staff attended a rally in Baltimore, protesting the Trump administration’s “family separation” policy as part of the National Day of Action for Children.
House Democrats have also released a letter demanding that the administration end the policy.
Representatives from Texas advocacy groups, law firms, and the Women’s Refugee Commission have filed a formal complaint, in the form of an Emergency Request with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, demanding that children be reunited with their parents and that the family separation policy end immediately. They maintain that this policy violates international human rights standards as well as U.S. asylum laws and due process.
The ACLU has released a report documenting instances of child abuse by Customs and Border Patrol and ICE. The report is chilling and can be read in full (along with FOIA documents) here.
Stephen Miller, speaking for the White House, echoed the tired refrain that asylum is a “loophole” that needs to be closed.
Earlier this month, DHS secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, said, “If you as a parent break into a house, you will be incarcerated by police and thereby separated from your family. We're doing the same thing at the border.” Not to beat a dead horse, but we would remind DHS once again that asylum seekers are not lawbreakers.
At the same time, despite protests by senior staff, Nielsen defied the administration by dispersing federal grant money to sanctuary cities. So, there’s that.
In another example of one step forward, two steps back, John Kelly said that TPS status should be eliminated and those here under that status be given a path to citizenship. In the same interview, however, he praised the family separation policy and reassured the nation that the children will be cared for – put into foster care or whatever.”
In other news:
At a rally in Tennessee on Tuesday, Trump engaged in a dangerous call and response.
“They’re not human beings,” Trump said. “What is the name?”
“ANIMALS!” the Angry Mob responded.
Last Thursday, Trump appointed Ronald Mortenson to be Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. Mortenson is a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, a think-tank and Southern Poverty Law Center-Designated Hate Group with associations to white nationalism. Last year, Mortenson wrote an opinion piece, for example, titled “Most illegal aliens routinely commit felonies.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will introduce a bill that would put a halt to Trump’s family separation policy.
Thanks to all of you who commented on the DHS Notice this week. We tripled the number of comments and drowned out its supporters. Good work!