Government Might Send Migrant Kids To Camps, To Help Them Concentrate
Now that the New Cruelty has kicked into high gear, the government is quickly running out of shelter space for the children it has taken away from their parents. Fortunately, the Department of Health and Human Services is working on a solution. Its Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is responsible for housing migrant children, is looking at several military bases in Texas as possible sites for tent cities to house the children. Yes, in the summer, in Texas.
The geniuses setting this up probably think that's just fine, since everyone knows Those People are always napping in the shade of a big cactus, wearing comically huge sombreros.
McClatchy has the poop:
The Department of Health and Human Services will visit Fort Bliss, a sprawling Army base near El Paso in the coming weeks to look at a parcel of land where the administration is considering building a tent city to hold between 1,000 and 5,000 children, according to U.S. officials and other sources familiar with the plans.
HHS officials confirmed that they're looking at the Fort Bliss site along with Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo for potential use as temporary shelters.
This actually fits in pretty well with what we learned earlier this week about other tactics of the New Cruelty. Once ICE has handled the unpleasant task of taking the kids away, sometimes by telling parents their children are simply going to get a nice bath, the children might now be shipped off to concentration camps. But nice ones, where they may eventually be placed in foster care with a US relative while their parents' immigration status is settled. Heck, at some point, maybe after months, the kids may even be deported to join their parents, if anyone in government or a nonprofit agency can find them.
Heaven knows Jeff Sessions's new directive to stop letting migrants claim asylum because they face being murdered by gangs or abusive spouses should also speed up the process of deporting parents. And if all goes well, the kids may even be deported in time to see their parents again before the whole family is murdered, or the kids are forced to join a gang. Everything is just fine.
McClatchy also passed along the government's spin on why tent cities will be such a great idea. You see, now that children are being routinely taken away thanks to the "zero tolerance" policy, there's been a 20% increase in the number of kids in ORR's care. So HHS says it needs a mix of "stable" beds in facilities run by nonprofits -- like that former Walmart Jeff Merkley tried to visit -- plus "temporary" beds to handle the occasional higher flows of migrant kids that the government suddenly has on its hands for some reason. McClatchy's DC bureau apparently took this next bit verbatim from an HHS flack:
HHS can place unaccompanied children in an appropriate setting while a sponsor is identified who can care for the child while their immigration case proceeds. It helps protect the border but also prevents vulnerable kids [from falling] into the hands of traffickers, officials said.
"The lack of parental protection, and the hazardous journey they take, make unaccompanied alien children vulnerable to human trafficking, exploitation and abuse," the HHS official said.
Not that the article says so directly, but the government is also trying to use the issue of so-called "missing" kids as a justification for imprisoning more kids in mini-gulags. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein took to aping Trump at a recent immigrants-are-bad roundtable, blaming supposed "loopholes" in the law for unaccompanied minors disappearing from the New Cruelty's radar:
"It can take months and sometimes years to adjudicate those claims once they get into the federal immigration court system, and they often fail to appear for immigration proceedings," Rosenstein said. "In fact, approximately 6,000 unaccompanied children each year fail to appear when they've been summoned. They're released and they don't show up again."
The "loopholes" in question actually
involve a number of legal protections for migrant kids, families, and asylum seekers that prevent the government from holding kids for the entire time needed to determine their status. But golly, that's inconvenient for Team Trump, because they'd much rather keep most kids in lockup, to more easily deport them.
Trump's family separation policy isn't just cruel for the sake of scaring people away from seeking refuge in America, of course. It's much more expensive, since there's dumb laws requiring kids be fed, given medical care, and educated. As former Obama deputy assistant AG Leon Fresco told McClatchy, at some point the Trumpers are going to have to beg Congress for more money for their "agressive detention approach. He added:
"The point is separating families is not only controversial, it's also inordinately more expensive," Fresco said.
Sure would be nice if congressional Democrats used the ol' power of the purse to put an end to this madness. That would require some of them growing a spine, and in an election year, too. Perhaps we could remind them that doing the right thing would also make a hell of a good issue to campaign on, not apologize for.
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