Wielding the Presidential Pen to Produce Slime
“ ‘This is a stopgap measure,’ said Gene Hamilton, counsel to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.” (BBC News)
In the 12 hours since I wrote this poem / manifesto / cry of anguish-anger, the gang-boss (I hesitate to call him POTUS) of the National RICO Criminal Enterprise (aka the Trump-GOP Gang), has signed an executive order “to end” the gang’s kidnapping of refugee children from their parents—crimes against humanity.
If the kidnapping stops, this is good.
However, while Trump may now have signed the executive order (EO) stopping future family separations, the EO itself does not stop the criminal enterprise’s on-going crime of interring refugee seekers.
Trump’s just trying to slime his way into looking like a hero. All the EO does is produce the slime.
Significantly, the EO has no implementation date and no plan for reunification of families already separated:
“The order also did not provide any date or timeline on when it would be implemented and does not address how the more than 2,000 children already stripped from their families would be reunited.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar has said his department will begin working to return detained immigrant children to their families, but did not give a timeline.
A top HHS official told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday they have no system in place to do so.” (BBC News)
The New York Times goes further on the question of re-unification:
“And the president’s order does nothing to address the plight of the more than 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents under the president’s ‘zero tolerance’ [sic—should read “kidnapping”] policy. Federal officials initially said those children would not be immediately reunited with their families while the adults remain in federal custody during their immigration proceedings.
‘There will not be a grandfathering of existing cases,’ said Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Wolfe said the decision about the children was made by the White House.”
The kidnapper has only agreed to not kidnap anymore children. He still plans to inter them, just with their families. From section 1 of the EO, which is a policy statement:
“It is also the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.” (White House website emphasis added)
The order has yet to arrange to return the children he already kidnapped.
In case you haven’t seen the numbers involved: “DHS told us that 2,342 children were separated from their parents between May 5 and June 9” (Factcheck.org). That’s in one month. According to the Huffington Post:
“The situation is so bad that John Sandweg, the former head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told MSNBC he thinks that Trump’s zero tolerance policy could result in the long-term separation of families and that some may “never see each other again.” Migrants have already been deported from the U.S. without their children. Immigration experts who are working to reunite parents with their children say the government has no system in place to solve a problem of its own making.”
Unbelievably, Trump wants us to applaud that he’s going to stop kidnapping children. Slate writes in an opinion:
“Now, Trump wants credit for ending the crisis he created, calling an executive order he signed on Wednesday ‘very compassionate.’ But the order neither ends the crisis nor produces a more humane status quo. It’s a public relations stunt, meant to dampen criticism without changing the fundamentals of the policy. ‘Zero tolerance’ is still in effect, and Trump’s manufactured crisis may well get worse.”
How much worse could it get? How about this, from Time:
“The U.S. Navy is preparing plans to construct sprawling detention centers for tens of thousands of immigrants on remote bases in California, Alabama and Arizona, escalating the military’s task in implementing President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy for people caught crossing the Southern border, according to a copy of a draft memo obtained by TIME.”
We shall see if gang-leader Trump even does what the EO says about stopping the kidnapping.
Remember: no implementation date. Remember: plans to build huge camps—”detention centers for tens of thousands of migrants.”
In fact, though, the gang leader wants to continue the interments, and hold both parents and children for longer periods of time. He’s trying to have a 21 year-old legal ruling changed. Why? So he can hold the “united” families indefinitely. From Slate:
“Trump’s executive order also directs Attorney General Jeff Sessions to challenge a 1997 ruling that prohibits long-term immigration detention for children, either alone or with their parents.… Under the terms of the Flores settlement, the federal government can hold children for a maximum of 20 days. Given the likely length of immigration proceedings, there’s a strong chance that Trump’s order will compel a violation of the settlement.”
Think about that.
Here, from the EO, is the actual text Slate refers to, from Section 3:
“(e) The Attorney General shall promptly file a request with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to modify the Settlement Agreement in Flores v. Sessions, CV 85-4544 (“Flores settlement”), in a manner that would permit the Secretary, under present resource constraints, to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.” (White House website)
Notice that the Flores settlement from 1997, which both Trump and Sessions have blamed in part for their policy of separating children from their parents, apparently was against Sessions. This settlement restricts the time limit of holding the children to 20 days. A 2016 court ruling applied this to both accompanied and unaccompanied children.
Without an implementation date for the EO, the children could continue to be grabbed from their parents throughout the time Sessions files the request and the court hears arguments then rules on the filing. Sessions is ordered to “promptly file” the request, so there is that…
How the court rules on the filing could lead to the scenario Slate describes, of Trump continuing to blame the courts and Congress while he kidnaps children from migrant families. Or, the court could rule that the US may hold the children with their parents (interring both, but together), during the time it take for proceedings against the parents.
In fairness, the EO does order that such proceedings be expedited. Still, the possibility is real that a prolonged court case (“proceeding”) could lead to indefinite detention, if the court allows the government to hold them until such proceedings are resolved.
However, even if gang-leader Trump does keep families together and is not allowed to keep them indefinitely—we still can’t let up:
“You don’t have to look too closely to see the outline of a clear—and cynical—political gambit. President Trump signs an executive order ending child separation, but to carry it out, officials violate a federal court order. That requires a judge to step in and admonish the administration, after which Trump pulls back, resuming family separation with the help of an easy scapegoat.” (Slate)
The Executive Order does not stop the crimes. It does not return stolen children, some lost, some abused, some whose parents have already been deported while the children remain interred, all traumatized. It does not assure these crimes against humanity won’t continue.
The criminal interment of asylum-seeking refugees must stop now. The interment of all refugees must stop now. The kidnapping must stop now.
Those who committed these crimes need to be pursued to justice.
This is not over until all perpetrators at all levels of these crimes against humanity have been charged and brought to justice, possibly in The Hague as the chief of the US Justice Department is culpable.
And these crimes against humanity must be prevented from happening again.
This won’t finally be over until we honestly face our dirty laundry of atrocities and bigotry in the past and present, and in so doing change course so that our future is caring and just toward all of humanity.
IT’S TIME TO RETURN TO THE 1960S TACTICS
OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS AND ANTI-WAR MOVEMENTS.
It’s time to hit the streets!
Strike! Moratorium! Protest!
Get in the faces of the fascists!
CALL FOR NATIONAL PROTESTS ON 30 JUNE 2018!
LET’S MAKE IT GLOBAL!
- Executive Order: Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation
- Organizations trying to help kidnapped and interred children
- Some organizations with government contracts related to the inhumane crimes against refugee children are listed here.
See my earlier post on this subject— Got a Revolution (Got to Revolution)
22 June 2018: Additional links added, including links to a list of organizations working to help the kidnapped children and a link to the full text of the Executive Order, as published on the White House site. Quotes from the actual EO have also now been included in the main text. The reporting from Time about the Navy planning to build more camps also has been added, as has a New Yorker image (from Reuters), caption, and link to a first-person account from a pediatrician who “treated” a separated migrant child.
In the news 24 June 2018: Trump calls for deporting illegal immigrants with ‘no judges or court cases’ — Reuters
In the news 27 June 2018: Migrant separations: US judge orders family reunifications (and, separately, 17 US States sue Trump administration) — BBC