Today marks three months since our government announced its “zero tolerance policy” toward undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers, ripping children from the arms of their parents and placing the kids in detention facilities across the country. I’m sure it seems much longer for the parents, some 400 of whom have already been deported and whose whereabouts the government has no clue.
After worldwide protests, “zero tolerance” was abandoned and close to 2,000 families (of the original 2,500) reunited. A family reunification deadline imposed by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw has been missed more than once, and the government tried to fob off the rest of the job on the American Civil Liberties Union whose attorneys are working with immigrants who were apparently duped into agreeing to be separated from their children.
(The ACLU has just filed a lawsuit challenging newly imposed stiffer requirements for granting asylum.)
While the ACLU has expressed a willingness to help, Judge Sabraw demurred. “That will be 100 percent the government’s responsibility,” he said. But he added that the ACLU cooperate, as described by the Los Angeles Times, “by establishing a lead counsel or steering committee to decide how to best track down their deported or missing clients and advise them of their legal options.” Both entities are directed to work together on a plan for this cooperative effort. The details of that plan are due Friday, Aug. 10.
Once the reunification mess is sorted out, there will be a need to address the trauma that has been endured by children and their parents.
Photos: npr.org, newyorker.com, hrw.org
So much for being pro-life and pro-family … Peter
Pat, again, I feel like you are our social conscience. You lift our thoughts to a lofty level. That’s a big plus in our day. Ford and Carri
Oh wow, Ford & Carrie. That’s too much. It’s just that it’s been bothering me that these awful things seem to be getting swallowed up in the morass of every other awful thing that’s happening. And I worry that it will all become not worth mentioning.
Too much news, I guess.
Pat, I have to add: I help at a refuge for asylum seekers. Yesterday a young Guatemalan woman with 2 boys, age 2 and 4, needed a ride to a bus to go Ohio. So, 2 boys running in different directions, 2 heavy backpacks of clothes, 2 big bags of food from us at the refuge, 3 large blankets. How will she go to transfer from bus to bus? Not a word of English. It’s a miracle. I assume Good Samaritans help her. Will they continue in the USA? God only knows.
More like you, let’s hope.