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Trump moves to Obama’s position on family detention

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Family separation is over, for now. The executive order President Trump signed yesterday fits within his statutory authority, complies with the existing law, and directs his attorney general to petition federal courts to grant him greater authority to “detain alien families together.” The title of the order, “Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation,” contains its own plea that the legislative branch steps up and exercise its constitutional authority.

Axar.az reports citing National Review.

This is all good. Families shouldn’t be separated merely to prosecute misdemeanours or during asylum proceedings. The administration should pursue lawful changes to legal rules that functionally require catch-and-release, rules that incentivize families to make a sometimes extraordinarily dangerous trip across the border with young children.

But despite this victory, Democrats are still furious. It’s not enough to stop child separation. Now, they want to prevent family detention entirely. Immigration activists refer to family detention centres as “family gulags.” Nancy Pelosi calls family detention a form of “child abuse” and a violation of “children’s human rights.” Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer signed a joint letter demanding that Trump “quickly present alternatives” to family detention. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes has been waging an online battle against the very concept of family detention.

Yes, you read that correctly. As the Trump administration seeks to modify the Flores consent decree to allow for family detention past 20 days — and as GOP members of the House and Senate introduce bills that would overrule Flores — they are following in Obama’s footsteps. Don’t believe me? Read the exact words of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Flores v. Lynch, the 2016 case that extended the Flores consent decree to cover children with families:

Now, compare this statement with Trump’s request in his executive order:

And compare it to the text of the “Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act” introduced by Senate Republicans, this morning:

This is the Obama argument, repackaged under Trump.

Indeed, in a long thread about Obama-administration detention policies, immigration attorney Andrew Free says that Obama himself said that he hoped to prevent families from attempting the border crossing:

So, there you have it. Obama didn’t just want the Flores consent decree to apply to families with children. The Obama administration also used detention as a deterrent.

How much do you want to bet that those same people would hail Gutiérrez as a hero for interrupting Trump to protest the same policy? How many elected Democrats were accusing the Democratic president of “child abuse,” or creating “family gulags”?

Democrats — and many Republicans — united to end family separation. Now, Democrats unite again to take on policies that many of them supported (or were silent about) two short years ago. That’s one reason why it’s so hard to take contemporary political rhetoric seriously. Is a policy “child abuse” simply because Trump is executing it?

There is no perspective. There is no sense of proportion. There is no historical memory.

Date
2018.06.25 / 10:56
Author
Axar.az
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