Trump Deporting Reunified Families, Judge Rules 'The Hell You Say'
A federal judge ordered a temporary stop to deportations of families whose children were separated from them by the Trump administration. The ACLU requested a restraining order Monday, saying the immediate deportations violated the families' due process rights (which, yes, even undocumented immigrants have; trolls and the current "president" can STFU). US federal district court judge Dana Sabraw ordered a weeklong halt to all deportations of families covered by the class action lawsuit against Trump's family separation policy, to make sure no families are being sent away illegally. Sabraw also appears to have lost patience with the government's delays in returning kids to their parents.
The government will have a week to reply to the ACLU request that deportations be paused. As Talking Points Memo reporter Alice Ollstein reports on Twitter, Sabraw wasn't buying the Justice Department lawyers' bullshit, no thank you:
Now Sabraw is TEARING INTO the Trump admin for arguing that the court is putting the immigrant kids in danger by ordering swift reunification with their parents. He calls this argument "completely unhelpful" bc gov is the one that "improperly separated parent and child."
Sabraw accuses Trump admin of "inviting a process of delay at the expense of children and parents." He then scolds them, saying: "HHS is a defendant in this case. HHS' mission is the interest of the child. It is failing in this context."
This is actually a reprise of an argument Sabraw settled last week with a different agency: An official from Health And Human Services, which is responsible for reunifying parents with the children the Trump administration took from them at the border, had claimed in a declaration Friday that Sabraw's July 26 deadline for reuniting all children with their parents would actually be bad for the kids. The official said faster reunification would "likely result in the placing of children with adults who falsely claimed to be their parents or into potentially abusive environments." Then HHS shrugged and said fine, we just won't verify whether any of these parents are really related to the kids, see how the liberals like it when kids get sent to SEX TRAFFICKERS! (we're paraphrasing from Breitbart's coverage there). Sabraw had already told HHS Friday that it would both verify the parents' relationships and have it done by July 26, so we're surprised the Justice Department would bring that up again. Sabraw wasn't pleased:
Reunification can happen quickly and safely. Those two things are not mutually exclusive. HHS is responsible for this and can do it well.
Sabraw explained once more, presumably using little words, that since court records show most of the parents have no criminal history in the US or their home countries, there's no need to DNA test every parent -- such measures should only be taken when there's evidence to suggest the children aren't related to the people who want to claim them.
Beyond the request for a pause in deportations, the ACLU asked the judge to order HHS to give them 12 hours' notice before releasing families from detention, so charities can be on hand to assist them. Ollstein notes, "Some [families] have been left at bus stops in the middle of the night." The government lawyers whined such notice would be a "logistical challenge, but Sabraw told them to meet with the ACLU and agree on some kind of notice, since that's just "common courtesy."
The hearing also included two more instances where DOJ's attorneys seem to get on Sabraw's nerves just a bit more. He had little patience for their insistence that parents simply have to be deported to clear up room in family detention facilities for other families who've been reunited, as if the government had already forgotten it started releasing parents with GPS ankle monitors just last week. WHICH IT COULD HAVE BEEN DOING THIS ENTIRE TIME INSTEAD OF TAKING CHILDREN AWAY. Judge Sabraw simply cut off the DOJ attorney:
That's not an option. That just shouldn't be happening. There's no reason I can think of why that would result in delaying the reunifications that are underway. If space is an issue, the government can make space.
An administration attorney also invited Judge Sabraw to come and see a child detention facility so he could see for himself how well-cared-for the children are (as they suffer PTSD caused by being taken from their parents). Sabraw, again, wasn't having it, because a nice baby jail is still a baby jail:
The concern at issue is simply the passage of time. No matter how nice the environment is, the separation from a parent, particularly for a young child, is what matters. That's the principal issue we're dealing with. The safe environment is assumed.
We'd like to think a steely glare was involved there, too.
In not unrelated news, we also learned from USA Today that Judge Sabraw is the son of an American-born US soldier who met his mother, who was born in Japan, while he was stationed there during the Korean War. Sabraw was appointed to the federal bench by George W. Bush. His middle name is Makoto, Japanese for "truth," which we're happy to hope is a good omen of some kind.
While Judge Sabraw has made no mention of his ancestry during the current case, he did say in a 2003 interview that his mixed-race family faced trouble finding housing in the 1960s, prior to passage of the Fair Housing Act. Considering Donald Trump's history of being sued under that law, we suppose it's inevitable the moron will soon be tweeting about how the "Japanese judge" is genetically incapable of ruling fairly in the case.
But maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised -- Trump would really have to be A IDIOT to shout "fake news" about a judge whose middle name is literally Truth.
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[AP/Miami Herald / Alice Ollstein on Twitter / TPM / CNN / USA Today]
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.