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1 SECRET BABY JAILS IN TEXAS! on 6/19/2018, 10:57 pm

Youngest migrant children are being 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.

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2 Re: SECRET BABY JAILS IN TEXAS! on 6/20/2018, 8:41 am

Hmmmm.  Good topic for discussion.    (Poor choice of thread title, though ...  just a bit hysterical, doncha' think, 'Deucie'?)

(sorry couldn't read your linked article ... Orlando Sentinel seems to want me to register & pay 'em a dollar ...  Or maybe it's my browser? In any case .. I don't have a dollar to give 'em today ... baby needs new shoes, ya know But perhaps you'd care to copy/past the text of it for us?)

Anyways ... personally I don't think illegal immigration is among the top issues this country is facing right now.    I do think we need to increase "legal" immigration into this country (double/triple it even) & streamline the shabby byzantine processes we currently have for that, and that we need to address the "dreamers" problem in a way favorable to many of them (a problem our past haphazard immigration enforcement policies created, in fact    We need to tighten up our asylum regulations and streamline our immigration hearing processes as well. We also need to better fund our immigration detention center in terms of humane conditions; flexibility to expand and contract space as/when needed to handle times of influx so it's not always some big huge crisis every time we have an influx; and increase oversight of same (particularly the contract facilities)  But, at the same time ... I'm not an "open-borders"/"world-citizen" type, in the same vein I don't think the USA has any kind of moral mandate to police/save-the-world always everywhere all-the-time.    Far from it.  Our moral mandate on that IMO is first to our own people/economy, ... and that includes people of foreign extraction who have immigrated here and become US Citizens through the legal processes.

I do think Trump has used the issue of illegal immigration as a political vote-getter (rather succesfully, I might add)... and that it's a shriekingly loud dog-whistle for a sizable segment of of his political base to whom he made a campaign promise about it he's endeavoring to keep.  The current Republican dominated chicken-Congress is reluctant to engage with him on that, and the Dems there for the most part are playing politics with the issue as well ... so he's using whatever tools he's got in his executive tool belt.  The optics of it are pretty bad if you ask me ... but then, since when has Trump cared about the "optics" of anything?  

Nevertheless .... here's the flip side of the argument.  For those who actually care to read and comprehend:

[The Truth about Separating Kids

May 28, 2018 10:37 PM

Some economic migrants are using children as chits, but the problem is fixable — if Congress acts.

The latest furor over Trump immigration policy involves the separation of children from parents at the border.

As usual, the outrage obscures more than it illuminates, so it’s worth walking through what’s happening here.

For the longest time, illegal immigration was driven by single males from Mexico. Over the last decade, the flow has shifted to women, children, and family units from Central America. This poses challenges we haven’t confronted before and has made what once were relatively minor wrinkles in the law loom very large.

The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.

It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)

When a migrant is prosecuted for illegal entry, he or she is taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals. In no circumstance anywhere in the U.S. do the marshals care for the children of people they take into custody. The child is taken into the custody of HHS, who cares for them at temporary shelters.

The criminal proceedings are exceptionally short, assuming there is no aggravating factor such as a prior illegal entity or another crime. The migrants generally plead guilty, and they are then sentenced to time served, typically all in the same day, although practices vary along the border. After this, they are returned to the custody of ICE.

If the adult then wants to go home, in keeping with the expedited order of removal that is issued as a matter of course, it’s relatively simple. The adult should be reunited quickly with his or her child, and the family returned home as a unit. In this scenario, there’s only a very brief separation.

Where it becomes much more of an issue is if the adult files an asylum claim. In that scenario, the adults are almost certainly going to be detained longer than the government is allowed to hold their children.

That’s because of something called the Flores Consent Decree from 1997. It says that unaccompanied children can be held only 20 days. A ruling by the Ninth Circuit extended this 20-day limit to children who come as part of family units. So even if we want to hold a family unit together, we are forbidden from doing so.

The clock ticking on the time the government can hold a child will almost always run out before an asylum claim is settled. The migrant is allowed ten days to seek an attorney, and there may be continuances or other complications.

This creates the choice of either releasing the adults and children together into the country pending the ajudication of the asylum claim, or holding the adults and releasing the children. If the adult is held, HHS places the child with a responsible party in the U.S., ideally a relative (migrants are likely to have family and friends here).

Even if Flores didn’t exist, the government would be very constrained in how many family units it can accommodate. ICE has only about 3,000 family spaces in shelters. It is also limited in its overall space at the border, which is overwhelmed by the ongoing influx. This means that — whatever the Trump administration would prefer to do — many adults are still swiftly released.

Why try to hold adults at all? First of all, if an asylum-seeker is detained, it means that the claim goes through the process much more quickly, a couple of months or less rather than years. Second, if an adult is released while the claim is pending, the chances of ever finding that person again once he or she is in the country are dicey, to say the least. It is tantamount to allowing the migrant to live here, no matter what the merits of the case.

A few points about all this:

1) Family units can go home quickly. The option that both honors our laws and keeps family units together is a swift return home after prosecution. But immigrant advocates hate it because they want the migrants to stay in the United States. How you view this question will depend a lot on how you view the motivation of the migrants (and how seriously you take our laws and our border).

2) There’s a better way to claim asylum. Every indication is that the migrant flow to the United States is discretionary. It nearly dried up at the beginning of the Trump administration when migrants believed that they had no chance of getting into the United States. Now, it is going in earnest again because the message got out that, despite the rhetoric, the policy at the border hasn’t changed. This strongly suggests that the flow overwhelmingly consists of economic migrants who would prefer to live in the United States, rather than victims of persecution in their home country who have no option but to get out.

Even if a migrant does have a credible fear of persecution, there is a legitimate way to pursue that claim, and it does not involve entering the United States illegally. First, such people should make their asylum claim in the first country where they feel safe, i.e., Mexico or some other country they are traversing to get here. Second, if for some reason they are threatened everywhere but the United States, they should show up at a port of entry and make their claim there rather than crossing the border illegally.

3) There is a significant moral cost to not enforcing the border. There is obviously a moral cost to separating a parent from a child and almost everyone would prefer not to do it. But, under current policy and with the current resources, the only practical alternative is letting family units who show up at the border live in the country for the duration. Not only does this make a mockery of our laws, it creates an incentive for people to keep bringing children with them.

Needless to say, children should not be making this journey that is fraught with peril. But there is now a premium on bringing children because of how we have handled these cases. They are considered chits.

In April, the New York Times reported:

Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner.

Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing.

According to, it is “common to have parents entrust their children to a smuggler as a favor or for profit.”

If someone is determined to come here illegally, the decent and safest thing would be to leave the child at home with a relative and send money back home. Because we favor family units over single adults, we are creating an incentive to do the opposite and use children to cut deals with smugglers.

4) Congress can fix this. Congress can change the rules so the Flores consent decree will no longer apply, and it can appropriate more money for family shelters at the border. This is an obvious thing to do that would eliminate the tension between enforcing our laws and keeping family units together. The Trump administration is throwing as many resources as it can at the border to expedite the process, and it desperately wants the Flores consent decree reversed. Despite some mixed messages, if the administration had its druthers, family units would be kept together and their cases settled quickly.

The missing piece here is Congress, but little outrage will be directed at it, and probably nothing will be done. And so our perverse system will remain in place and the crisis at the border will rumble on.

I'd also be interested to hear thoughts on this meme that popped up in my FB feed the other day  (I don't do "politics" or "social commentary" on FB, btw.  It's solely a family/friends connect thing for me.  Just happened across it)

Last edited by EmeraldGhost on 6/20/2018, 9:42 am; edited 6 times in total

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3 Re: SECRET BABY JAILS IN TEXAS! on 6/20/2018, 9:16 am

More food for thought on the topic from the LA Times (opinion piece)

There's nothing new about tearing kids away from their parents. We do it all the time in our prison system

The scenes of parents being separated from their children at the border are shocking and shameful. But taking children from their mothers is not a new practice nor is it inflicted only on border-crossers. It is the way the American penal system regularly treats women in the criminal justice system, whose children often suffer lives of deprivation, stigma, loneliness and trauma as a result.

There are currently about 219,000 women behind bars in the United States, according to a study by the American Civil Liberties Union last year, about eight times as many as were incarcerated in 1970.

Of those, 80% are mothers, and most are the primary caretakers of their children — or were, before they were separated.

What’s more, it is estimated that 1 in 25 female inmates is pregnant when sent to prison. In many states, inmates who give birth while incarcerated are shackled during labor and delivery. When a child is born in prison, it is almost immediately handed over to a social worker to be sent out to a family member or to foster parents. Often those separations turn out to be permanent. In many cases, there is no father present or available to take custody of the child.

You can say, as some people do, that this problem does not merit our concern. All these women committed crimes and are suffering the punishment. Perhaps they should have thought about the consequences of their actions before they misbehaved.

But of course there are several problems with that glib response.

For one thing, the people who suffer most from this situation are not the incarcerated mothers but the children, who are not just sad on a day-to-day level at being separated from their mothers, but often are damaged psychologically by the combination of trauma, pain and stigma. (Parental incarceration is now acknowledged as an “adverse childhood experience” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.) Unsurprisingly, these children, who have not themselves committed crimes or offended society, are disproportionately non-white — because it is their parents who get locked up at higher rates and their parents who are less likely to make bail. The imprisonment rate for African American women (96 per 100,000) is twice the rate of imprisonment for white women (49 per 100,000).

Furthermore, it is important to remember that of the thousands of women being held in county jails, 60% have not been convicted of crimes and are merely awaiting trial. In many cases, they are behind bars, separated from their children, facing charges for which they are subsequently found not guilty.

Even among those who ultimately are found guilty, 25% are convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.

If for some reason you find it difficult to imagine the pain suffered by these mothers and children, try watching this seven-minute documentary about children being taken by bus to visit their mothers in remote prisons in rural California on Mother’s Day.

Or read Rachel Kushner’s excellent new novel, “The Mars Room,” about a young inmate in a California women’s prison. Among other things, she is trying desperately to find out what happened to her child when she was locked up and to get back to him. Some 850,000 children in California have a parent currently involved in some way in the criminal justice system, according to the makers of the Mother’s Day documentary.

In recent years, there has been more attention paid to this issue. There are an increasing number of programs around the country that allow children to spend more time with their incarcerated parents, including prison nurseries in some states that allow women to keep their newborns with them behind bars. It makes intuitive sense that spending more time with a parent is good for a child, but there is also research suggesting that it leads to less recidivism when the mother gets out. These programs deserve more study, more resources and more of our attention.

Gotta go now ... I'll check in on it with ya'll this evening, maybe.

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4 Re: SECRET BABY JAILS IN TEXAS! on 6/20/2018, 9:46 am

Turns out that the people the evangelicals support do the cruelest, most hateful stuff. Almost makes it seem like religion's just one big sham, doesn't it?

The TV's full of conservatives claiming that "they broke the law and if you get put in jail you're separated from your kids!" As if crossing the border is akin to armed robbery or something. It's a misdemeanor, but they're overloooking that. And these people aren't even border-jumpers... they're showing up at the gates, asking for asylum, and this is being done to them. Being a refugee and asking for help isn't illegal. The Trumplings keep saying "The immigrants need to do it the right way!" But when they try, this is what happens to 'em.

Once we kick that mentally-diseased piece of shit out of the White House, and demoralize and marginalize his cult (it would be so nice if this one would just end like Jonestown), we're going to have a LOT of work to do to rebuild America's image. He's let America's shittiest people run things, and it's about as ugly as it gets.

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5 Re: SECRET BABY JAILS IN TEXAS! on 6/20/2018, 10:32 am

Rich Lowry and Megyn Kelly smugly dismiss the existence of white privilege as “an odious lie”

“We have a hideous history of racism in this country,” Lowry said, “but that doesn’t determine anyone’s future”

On "The Kelly File" Thursday evening, National Review editor Rich Lowry spoke to host Megyn Kelly about an upcoming MTV documentary on white privilege.

"No one has seen this film yet," Lowry confessed, "but I think we can agree that it will be as stupid and exploitative as you expect from a network that brought us 'Jersey Shore' and 'Teen Mom 2.'"

"The notion of 'white privilege' is really trendy on campuses," he continued, "and it's based on an odious lie about our society. There's no doubt we have a hideous history of racism in this country, but that doesn't determine anyone's future right now. It's overwhelmingly based on 'family privilege,' 'education privilege,' and 'hard-work privilege' -- and those are things that are open to everyone in the country."

Kelly noted that the producer of the MTV documentary, Jose Antonio Vargas, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning undocumented immigrant, and that he's highlighting comments like one from a young white woman who said "this is what it's like being white -- you get the feeling that things belong to you."

"Who died and made her the spokesperson for white people?" Kelly asked, seemingly forgetting that her network is in the process of transforming Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, Kate Steinle's murderer, into the spokesperson for all undocumented immigrants.

"He certainly doesn't speak for me," progressive radio host Leslie Marshall said. She explained that the documentary reminded her of a college course on "the sociology of prejudice" from which she and many her classmates learned "so much more about other religions and other colors and [about] how I, as a white woman, was perceived, and I thought it was great conversation."

"Uh-huh," Kelly said dismissively. "But here's my question for you, Rich, are we adult enough in our society to have that conversation? And do we trust that conversation in the hands of this particular filmmaker who's come out and talked about how we can't talk about racism until we confront white privilege, and how a new America is being created right now and the growing presence of non-white people is a good thing."

"We're having this conversation all the time," Lowry said, because "we're overly obsessed with race, especially on the left, which appears to look at people and [not] see individuals, but skin color!"

"When you look at white privilege," he continued, "when you look at some of the whitest counties in America -- they are in Appalachia. If race were determinative of success in this country, those would be the best counties to live in. But they're some of the poorest in the country!"

Kelly later claimed that preparatory schools in New York City "devote entire years of school" to teaching about how horrible America is "because of what the white people did to the American Indians," leading people to believe this is "about white shaming, instead of starting a dialogue on these issues."

"How would my life be different if I were not white?" Kelly asked as the segment closed. She jokingly answered, "I would be darker." Because race, like rape, is is in fact a laughing matter on "The Kelly File."

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6 Re: SECRET BABY JAILS IN TEXAS! on 6/20/2018, 1:51 pm

EmeraldGhost wrote:   (Poor choice of thread title, though ...  just a bit hysterical, doncha' think, 'Deucie'?)

"I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout."


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7 Re: SECRET BABY JAILS IN TEXAS! on 6/20/2018, 2:04 pm

Well, PET scans done & too damn hot to work on my current project outside ... so thought I'd check in with ya'll for a moment.  
(interestingly, they gave her what they called a "get-out-of-jail" card ... apparently she's radioactive enough from the contrast to possibly set off police radar for a day or two.  They never told us that before?)

So .. he's backpedaling it once again. Just like he'll prob do on trade, N Korea, etc

Trump says he'll sign order stopping his policy of separating families at border

Government officials familiar with early drafts say the executive order would allow families to be held in immigration detention together.


In truth, he'll sign whatever immigration legislation the Congress can manage to send to his desk  ... IF they can manage to, that is!  (and but of course he'll claim that he "won"   Rolling Eyes )

Ordering his own policy reversed and blaming it on the Democrats  Laughing  Laughing As a wise fellow once said:  "What a maroon ... what an ignoranimous !!"
And they criticized Obama over his red-line in Syria.   Rolling Eyes

Wait, wait .. " family detention" ... wasn't that an Obama initiative?.  (well, started by shrub actually, but nevertheless)

Ah, well ... maybe some funding for appropriate immigration detention and oversight of same will get appropriated.   We do need that.  I'm not terribly optimistic though on that count.

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8 Re: SECRET BABY JAILS IN TEXAS! on 6/23/2018, 12:45 pm

Good NPR article.  I could tell you all some things about SWK I have personal experience with, but I'll spare you that.


Some excerpts

[quote]Today, Southwest Key has 26 shelters in Texas, Arizona and California, housing more than 5,100 immigrant minors. That's about half of the total population in the custody of Health and Human Services. Its federal contracts now tally more than $400 million annually.


When Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., tried to visit one of those facilities in Brownsville, Texas, earlier this month, he was turned away.

Video of the incident went viral — and suddenly, the group's shelters moved from the shadows to the spotlight.


But the past few weeks have stirred difficult questions in the nonprofit world and the immigrant advocacy community, particularly in Austin.

Is Southwest Key acting compassionately, or is it complicit in a controversial policy? Is it protecting kids or profiting off them?


The organization has grown into one of the largest nonprofits in its area. CNN reports that Sanchez's $1.5 million annual salary makes him one of the highest-paid nonprofit CEOs in the country.


Rogelio Nuñez, the executive director of Casa de Proyecto Libertad, a nonprofit that has worked on behalf of immigrants in South Texas for decades, is not convinced by that argument.

"I would say while I myself am Chicano — Mexican-American — that doesn't equate to humane treatment, that doesn't equate to being humanitarian," he tells NPR. "I could tell you there are many Chicanos that I know who are anti-immigrant and anti-black and anti-women. Being Latino is not a guarantee that you're going to treat the world better."

Nuñez says Southwest Key is running detention centers, even if it refuses to use that term, and he criticized the organization for keeping most of its facilities out of the public eye, without giving journalists access.


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