Today’s Family Separation Headlines

I didn’t watch MSNBC last night, but I was told that everyone on it was having a breakdown. The headlines alone tell quite a story —

APNewsBreak: Youngest migrants held in ‘tender age’ shelters

Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.

Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday. …

… On a practical level, the zero tolerance policy has overwhelmed the federal agency charged with caring for the new influx of children who tend to be much younger than teens who typically have been traveling to the U.S. alone. Indeed some recent detainees are infants, taken from their mothers.

Doctors and lawyers who have visited the shelters said the facilities were fine, clean and safe, but the kids — who have no idea where their parents are — were hysterical, crying and acting out.

“The shelters aren’t the problem, it’s taking kids from their parents that’s the problem,” said South Texas pediatrician Marsha Griffin, who has visited many.

Texas Tribune: Separated migrant children are headed toward shelters with a history of abuse and neglect

Taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion in the past four years to private companies operating immigrant youth shelters accused of serious lapses in care, including neglect and sexual and physical abuse, an investigation by Reveal and The Texas Tribune has found.

In nearly all cases, the federal government has continued to place migrant children with the companies even after serious allegations were raised and after state inspectors cited shelters with deficiencies, government and other records show.

There’s long been a problem with “unaccompanied minors” who cross the border and must be warehoused somewhere until somebody figures out what to do with them. Creating a new class of unaccompanied minors who were not, in fact, unaccompanied isn’t helping.

Yahoo News: Businesses have made millions off Trump’s child separation policy

President Trump’s controversial child separation policy is being carried out with the help of private businesses who have received millions of dollars in government contracts to help run the shelters where young migrants are being held away from their parents.

The government has released few photos of the shelters where the children are being detained and at times declined to allow media and even elected officials access to the facilities. Amid this secrecy, many of the businesses participating in the program have remained behind the scenes without being identified.

However, by reviewing publicly available contracts data, Yahoo News was able to identify five companies that are participating in the operation of the shelters, including two companies that have not previously been tied to the program. And in response to inquiries, one of the companies said it would cease participation in a program that required it to “maintain readiness” to transport young migrants to government facilities.

How much do you want to bet that the companies getting these contracts have ties to Republican politicians?

NBC News: Trump admin’s ‘tent cities’ cost more than keeping migrant kids with parents

The cost of holding migrant children who have been separated from their parents in newly created “tent cities” is $775 per person per night, according to an official at the Department of Health and Human Services — far higher than the cost of keeping children with their parents in detention centers or holding them in more permanent buildings.

The reason for the high cost, the official and several former officials told NBC News, is that the sudden urgency to bring in security, air conditioning, medical workers and other government contractors far surpasses the cost for structures that are routinely staffed.

Detroit Free Press: Torn from immigrant parents, 8-month-old baby lands in Michigan

Four days ago, a Homeland Security official proclaimed: “We are not separating babies from parents.”

Yet in the middle of the night, two baby boys arrived in Grand Rapids after being separated from their immigrant parents at the southern border weeks ago.

One child is 8 months old; the other is 11 months old. Both children have become part of a bigger group of 50 immigrant children who have landed in foster care in western Michigan under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance border policy.

The average age of these children is 8, a number that has alarmed foster care employees who are struggling to comfort the growing group of kids who are turning up in Michigan at nighttime, when it’s pitch-dark outside. They’re younger than ever, they say. And they are petrified.

“These kids are arriving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Not only are they being separated from their family, they are being transported to a place that they don’t know in the middle of the night,”  said Hannah Mills, program supervisor for the transitional foster care program at Bethany Christian Services, which is currently assisting the displaced children. “We have found on many occasions that no one has explained to these children where they are going.”

According to Mills, some of these displaced children got picked up right at the airport by a foster family, while others wound up at a foster care center, begging to talk to their parents. Many have gone 30 days or more without talking to their parents because their parents can’t be located, she said.

Texas Observer: Texas Officials Allow 15 Immigrant Shelters to Hold More Kids than Licenses Permit

In recent months, Texas officials have granted permission to at least 15 immigrant youth shelters to cram in more kids than their child-care licenses allow, according to records obtained by the Observer. Two shelters have been approved to hold almost 50 percent more children. The decisions come as the Trump administration separates more and more families at the border, funnelling children reportedly as young as 8 months into government shelters.

A spokesperson for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, John Reynolds, said the agency allows shelters to exceed capacity only after reviewing bedspace, the number of children to a bathroom, recreational space and fire inspection compliance. But child advocates argue that the decisions are likely straining staff, endangering children and amount to the state kowtowing to the federal government.


Trump’s decision to double down on the family-separation policy is sowing chaos in the West Wing, two sources close to the White House told me. For the second day in a row, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders—already eyeing an exit, though not for months—did not hold an on-camera briefing with reporters. “She’s tired of taking on water for something she doesn’t believe in,” a friend of Sanders told me. “She continues to have a frustration that the policies are all over the map,” another person close to her said. “It’s not a good look for Sarah.” …

…Meanwhile, as the border crisis spirals, the absence of a coordinated policy process has allowed the most extreme administration voices to fill the vacuum. White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has all but become the face of the issue, a development that even supporters of Trump’s “zero-tolerance” position say is damaging the White House. “Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border,” an outside White House adviser said. “He’s a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on. There’s always been a way he’s gone about this. He’s Waffen-SS.”

Making matters worse, Trump doesn’t seem to have an end game for the inhumane policy that is opposed by two-thirds of Americans. He’s continued to blame Democrats for allowing immigrants to “infest” the country; while in a closed-door meeting Tuesday night with congressional Republicans, he called on them to end family separation and “fix” the immigration system. He’s effectively boxed himself into a corner. “He doesn’t like this policy, and he knows it’s not helping him,” a Republican who’s spoken with him said. “But he can’t get within him that this is a problem, and he needs to take ownership of it.”

Today, Trump may be getting a clue that this is blowing up in his face …

White House considering executive action to prevent family separations at border

The White House is considering executive action to allow children to stay with parents caught crossing the border illegally, Fox News has learned — a step that could avoid the family separations that have triggered a national outcry and political crisis for Republicans.

The action under consideration would allow children to stay in detention with parents for an extended period of time.

In other words, what was going on before Trump ordered the family separations.

President Trump hinted at the new measure, while holding out hope for legislation, during remarks to reporters during a meeting Wednesday with lawmakers.

“I’ll be signing something in a little while [to keep families together],” he said, calling the move “somewhat preemptive” and stressing it would “be matched by legislation.” He also said he’s canceling the upcoming congressional picnic, adding: “It just didn’t feel right to me.”

Well, if he’s waiting for legislation …

TPM: GOP Bills To Lock Up Families Together Are Fulfilling The Trump Admin’s Wishes

Senate Republicans calling for an end to the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant parents from their children are pushing legislation that would roll back due process, anti-trafficking and human rights protections — something the administration has long sought to accomplish — allowing for faster deportations of asylum-seekers and the indefinite detention of minors.

House Republicans, meanwhile, are pushing bills that would do all that, slash legal immigration and allocate tens of billions of dollars for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

And, of course, a lot of Democrats would probably sign on to that so that they don’t get blamed for the crying babies, even though Trump was blaming them anyway.

Update: Josh Marshall

The President says he’s signing an executive order to end family separations. 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.

23 thoughts on “Today’s Family Separation Headlines

  1. Trump's use of the word infest is closely aligned with the Nazi's use of the word vermin to describe the Jews who they sought to annihilate.  

    America better open it's eyes….and examine their hearts. It goes deeper than securing political power. It's more to who we choose to be as a people and a nation.

     And to all you Christians out there who profess that we are a Christian Nation. Take a close look at the qualities of character exhibited in your current president and ask yourself if these are the qualities that God would have you look for in a leader.

     Liar, cheat,backbiter, homophobe, racist, mysoginist, narcissist, whoremonger, idolater, adulterer , prideful, boastful, arrogant,  compassionless, cruel, thief, mocker, selfish, capricious, double minded, and stupid. I'll end it there because I don't want to appear as a nit picker, but a thorough examination of Trump's character would reveal that he's a complete abomination..and a big bag of shit to boot! God fearing? I think not.

  2. What I'm reading is that NEITHER of the US House bills can muster a GOP majority. In the freeking House, folks. The bill that satisfies the Freedom Caucus won't pass with GOP 'moderates' who intend something that might pass in the Senate. (The 'moderate' bill legalizes Dreamers, but gives Trump everything. The Freedom Caucus ignores Dreamers.) 

    Here's the point-Trump got the word that NEITHER bill can clear the House, and that was the easy chamber of Congress for Trump. There is NO LEGISATIVE solution that includes funding the wall. That's what the ploy with the kids was about – creating enough urgency to move Democrats in the Senate if this thing was close.

    Really hateful bigots like Miller have urged Trump to continue for the fun of it. Governors in a bunch of states, including republicans are bailing. Evangelical leaders are showing up against. Catholic Bishops and the Pope. The support of Independent voters is melting away under the policy. And the objective-funding for the wall is lost.

    It's not over. Thousands of kids have to be reunited with parents. Trump will be urged by Miller to shut down the government in September to demand funding the wall. That didn't go well the last time when the House did it to try to repeal Obamacare. If Trump does it this time, he will bear the blame alone.

    It all comes down to November and control of the HOUSE. One of these months, Mueller is going to release results. If half of what I expect is there, Articles of Impeachment will be written, if Democrats own the House. The purpose won't be the removal of Trump, which won't happen, but the open trial, the presentation of facts, witnesses and evidence. A trial is good theater for Democrats in 2020 if the evidence is there! Forcing Republicans to vote on impeachment in the face of overwhelming evidence of treason is exactly the kind of confrontation we want.

  3. Trump's use of infest reminded of "yeah, fella!  This is what the American Indians felt like when the white man came to infest America!"  The man is scum and so are his followers.  This trauma will permanently change these children.  It physically changes the brain; and, you can't make the brain grow back to what it was.  This was criminal.  Now, the administration needs to let the press into all facilities.

  4. Swami, your delightful, extensive, but admittedly not exhaustive list of ungodly characteristics of our current leader was well appreciated. 

    Some ungodly characteristic defy labels, but a commenter using the handle chambelle worded this gem in NYT comments.  The comment was written in response to the executive order to end separation of children.  Here are excerpts. 

    "You may remember that just days ago, Mr. Trump and his mouthpiece, Mr. Giuliani, railed at the 'unfairness' of the court's decision to revoke Paul Manafort's bail and place him in federal prison. After all, Manafort didn't do anything, except launder millions of dollars, work as an undisclosed foreign agent, lie to federal investigators and – the icing on the cake – tamper with witnesses"

    "So much for 'respect for the law.' In TrumpWorld, you've got law for the poor and desperate – and it's harsh. And you've got law for the rich, white and entitled – and it's whatever they decide they want it to be. 'We can clean it all up with some pardons.' Some respect."

    I think we may have to chalk this one up to that giant bag of odiferous shit characteristic.

  5. I knew that as soon as pictures and videos surfaced of small kids being traumatized, that media-savvy Trump would likely crumble.

    As more rats flee Trump's ship, the only ones left will be the real creeps like Stephen Miller, whispering his vile darkness into Trump's empty soul.

  6. Could his executive order have anything to do with the privatization of these internment camps? If after 20 days the kids have to leave, then they would lose money, right? By keeping families together, it allows him to hold them indefinitely. 

  7. Relax, folks.

    tRUMP has saved the day!

    He, Donald J. tRUMP, IS NOW OFFICIALLY A HERO! (In his own eyes, oh course!)

    The arsonist who started the fire now wants credit for putting it out (or, somewhst out). 

    And he brought "joy to his deplorsbles during this tragic travesty.


    Traumatizing children really, really pisses off the Libtards!!?!

    And after all, isn't that all life is about?



  8. The Republican Nazi Party is not going to lift a finger to help reunite the already 2600 children who have been separated (I know how to spell separate, which is more than can be said for trump and his heartless stupid  staff) from their parents.  I guess they feel they have no obligation to set right what they did wrong.  Some small good news is that the number of registered Rethugs has dropped from 32 percent of the voting population to 28 percent.  Maybe by November it will drop some more.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    • “I know how to spell separate, which is more than can be said for trump and his heartless stupid staff”

      I learned to spell spell “separate” when I was a child when one of my teachers wrote “There is A RAT in sepARATe” on the blackboard. Now it’s become literal.

  9. I hear that Michael Cohen has just hired Béla Károlyi to help him with his legal defense. Seems he's planning on doing a flip of olympic proportions.

  10. Interesting things happening on the legal front with the Trump Interment Plan. Trump is asking soon for a modification of the court ruling which says kids can only be kept for 3 weeks. Period. The ruling was made for a reason and Trump hasn't come up with a legal argument against it.

    A Go-Fund-Me has raised 15 million with the plan that adults in detention will have bail money and representation. There are rigid standards for detention – a person must be a danger or a flight risk or have a high risk of not showing for hearings. None of these conditions exist for most detainees – so most will be eligible for bail (and have bail money available.) Once out, there is no legal reason to detain their kids. An army of lawyers are massing. IMO, Trump will be outgunned in court, which is where this is heading. 

  11. Per discussions I heard on Madow yesterday, Flores Decision is a big issue.

    1) Kids can only be held 20 days. Period. On what basis does Trump argue that be vacated? He has to convince a judge.

    2) Kids can be represented, and the lawyers will be granted access. The Trump people who have straight-armed members of Congress won't be able to deny access legally, and denying representation will slow down the kangaroo courts to deport.

    3) Can all refugees be denied bail? If the courts decide that refugees who ask for asylum are not a flight risk, the Trump decision to lock 'em all up will be denied by courts. A Go Fund Me has raised 15 million in bail money.

    4) A parent on bail can demand the return of the kids. They won't be unsupervised.

    5) Facilities which hold kids have to be 'licensed'. Trump is trying to move facilities onto military bases so he can self-certify them. This move to circumvent the will of the court may not go down well with a judge in the inevitable suit.

  12. Gandhi himself said he might’ve been a Christian had it not been for Christians.  I think he may have been talking specifically about the white evangelicals.  The others who actually get Jesus' teachings I don’t mind so much.

    Speaking of satanic and un-American, I’m thinking that Trump would add to the inscription found on the Statue of Liberty if he could:

    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore… *.

    (* = as long as they’re white and not from shithole countries.  Those we’ll punish yuge and then blame the Democrats.)”

  13. I really can't make any sense of this whole shibang.  If kids are taken away from their parents and then the parents deported back to their country and there is no plan to reunite them, then the U.S. is left with a huge number of illegal immigrants which we have to take care of especially if many of them are of a tender age.  What are they thinking?  Also, I have heard there is no way to find out who the parents are or where they are.  Is there no paperwork anywhere?  Are these kids just loaded on buses or planes like cattle and nobody knows who they belong to? 

    As to FLOTUS going to one of the detention centers, I am suspicious of that too.  Perhaps it was her idea and she is truly concerned.  However, I think the Donald told her to go to either soften the image or to distract the public from the seriousness.  After all, she is a lot more attractive than he is.  One more thing, it was eerie to me how much her signature looked very much like his.  Sharp angles which from my very limited knowledge of handwriting analysis reflects anger.  Any thoughts, anyone?

  14. As to FLOTUS going to one of the detention centers, I am suspicious of that too.  

    And rightfully so. She's a complete tool in Trump's toolbox of deceits.  Common sense will tell you that a man like Trump whose primary objective in all relationships is to dominate and control would take for a wife a woman who is spirited and in control of her own person? In spite of any feeble show, or murmurings of Melania being her own person, it is beyond clear that she is totally broken in spirit and in deed. She is wholly owned  and controlled by Trump. As snakes go, the only difference between them is he's a rattle snake and she's a coral snake.

    And the scripture says….Satan can appear as an angel of light.

  15. grannyeagle wrote One more thing, it was eerie to me how much her signature looked very much like his. Sharp angles which from my very limited knowledge of handwriting analysis reflects anger.

    I’ve always been struck by how her face often looks like his – the tensions in her eyes, jaw and so on.

    As for her trip / her intentions – she seems like someone who has the barest stirrings of conscience + humanity, and who tries to act them out, but really has no idea how suffocated she is in her relationship, and how far her life is from whatever stirrings might be going on.

    Free Melania.

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