Trump's Misleading Executive Order on Family Separation

Beware the person who cannot accept accountability for his own missteps. Donald Trump today issued an executive order on separating parents and children at the border. He continues to blame Congress instead of his own Executive Orders for the mess his policies created. He even has the gall to name it "Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation."

It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.

No one caused these separations but the Trump Administration itself. [More...]

This includes Jefferson Sessions, who announced the "Zero Tolerance" policy in April, and in a written memorandum, directed all U.S. Attorneys to refer all adults who enter the country without authorization for criminal prosecution.

Accordingly, I direct each United States Attorney's Office along the Southwest Border to the extent practicable, and in consultation with DHS- to adopt immediately a zero-tolerance policy for all offenses referred for prosecution under section 1325(a). This zero-tolerance policy shall supersede any existing policies.

This complemented Trump's earlier executive orders and memos on the topic. It was Trump who signed an Executive Order in January, 2017 requiring detention of those who enter the country without proper authorization.

Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch to:

b) detain individuals apprehended on suspicion of violating Federal or State law, including Federal immigration law, pending further proceedings regarding those violations;

Trump then cemented this with his Executive Memorandum in April, 2018 ending "Catch and Release", under which adults who entered the country without authorization could be processed by the immigration courts and remain in the community while their court cases and requests for asylum were being considered. Trump says his first Order didn't go far enough.

In Executive Order 13767 of January 25, 2017 (Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements), I directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue new policy guidance regarding the appropriate and consistent use of detention authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), including the termination of the practice known as ‘‘catch and release,’’ whereby aliens are released in the United States shortly after their apprehension for violations of our immigration laws. On February 20, 2017,
the Secretary issued a memorandum taking steps to end ‘‘catch and release’’ practices. These steps have produced positive results. Still, more must be done to enforce our laws and to protect our country from the dangers of releasing detained aliens into our communities while their immigration claims are pending.

Here is Jefferson Sessions' latest sorry excuse.

There is no law that requires criminal prosecution of misdemeanor unlawful entry cases. As more than 50 former U.S. Attorneys wrote to Sessions this week in a plea to end his zero tolerance policy:

It is a simple matter of fact that the time a Department attorney spends prosecuting misdemeanor illegal entry cases, may be time he or she does not spend investigating more significant crimes like a terrorist plot, a child human trafficking organization, an international drug cartel or a corrupt public official. Under your Zero Tolerance policy, firearms cases, violent crime cases, financial fraud cases, and cases involving public safety on Indian reservations all take a back seat to these lesser, weaker misdemeanor cases. In fact, requiring U.S. Attorneys to bring these misdemeanor cases in every instance detracts from your own stated priority to fight gangs and violent crime by groups such as MS-13.

The combination of unnecessary child trauma and dangerous national security impact is exacerbated by the crushing expense of arresting and detaining every "illegal entry" misdemeanor defendant. At a time when federal prison costs are threatening to blow an unfillable hole in the Department of Justice's budget, the United States must now bear the cost of detaining parents and their entire families for months as their misdemeanor cases wind through the court system. This fiscal burden also falls on the Department of Homeland Security, whose officers and agents process the parents; federal defenders' offices who represent them; the Department of Health and Human Services which houses the children; and the already overburdened federal courts those who enter the U.S. unlawfully.

Last week, in a written decision, Jefferson Sessions overturned long-standing policy on asylum seekers.

Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum.

Donald Trump and Jefferson Sessions get an "F" grade when it comes to honesty, transparency, and decency as a human beings. Neither one should be in a leadership position in this country. Donald Trump is trying to bribe Congress. He is demanding that funding for his border wall be included in any immigration bill. He has said over and over that funding his border wall is a necessary component of any bill that reaches his desk. As for Sessions, he must have been born that way. Even his own church has filed a formal complaint against him.

In the meantime, has anyone found the 6,000 missing children?

< Airlines Refuse to Fly Separated Children Back to Home Countries | Immigrant Detainee at Federal Prison Diagnosed With Chicken Pox >
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  • Display: Sort:
    The root of the current crisis (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 20, 2018 at 09:29:02 PM EST
    is the outrageous "zero tolerance" policy -- implemented only a month or two ago by Sessions -- that deprives U.S. Attorneys of reasonable prosecutorial discretion, long exercised in the great majority of cases, to decline prosecution of Class B misdemeanor immigration law violations ... just as the vast majority of all minor offenses that might theoretically be prosecuted in federal court are not in fact prosecuted. This is not lawless; the reasonable exercise of enforcement discretion is a central feature of our legal system, including but not limited to the criminal justice system. As the former U.S. Attorneys' letter points out, all resources devoted to these cases are stolen from some other area of criminal law enforcement, and probably something more important or urgent. One reason to exercise discretion is awareness of the collateral consequences of doing otherwise. In this case, the impact on border-crossers' families.

    Ever grateful for your presence (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 01:54:52 AM EST
    And your thoughtful factual posts that clarify legalities so I know EXACTLY how we got here.

    Without you right this minute it is much easier to stand at a podium and lie to me and perhaps successfully confuse me.

    It is also much easier to fight when I know where and what the cornerstones are. Thank you Peter!!!!


    Word from the Washington Post (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 12:00:32 PM EST
    Prosecution of families with children crossing the border will stop immediately. Jailing entire families for a class B misdemeanor (?) obviously didn't look like a winnable battle either.

    For anyone interested in what a "Class B (none / 0) (#28)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 12:54:56 PM EST
    misdemeanor" is -- the crime is defined in section 1325 of title 8, U.S. Code, which provides a maximum jail sentence of six months. A crime with that maximum is defined elsewhere in the U.S. Code as a "Class B misdemeanor."  Which by the way is also within the statutory definition of a "petty offense." (According to the Supreme Court, fewer constitutional procedural rights apply to "petty offenses.") The actual punishment imposed, by the way, is almost always "time served" (prior to first seeing a judge) and an immediate remand to immigration custody for removal (deportation).  

    What are these "Ports of Entry" that (none / 0) (#30)
    by desertswine on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 01:37:51 PM EST
    they keep referring to?  They cannot possibly be the same Ports of Entry that I used when I was working with wildlife. Because there were only 3 that I recall in Texas;  Houston, Laredo, and El Paso.  Is there a list of cities?

    Sessions cited the Bible to justify his policy. (none / 0) (#12)
    by vml68 on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 08:08:41 AM EST
    The root of the current crisis is the outrageous "zero tolerance" policy -- implemented only a month or two ago by Sessions

    I am no theologian but I think it was part of Jesus' preaching of zero tolerance. /s


    DOD agreed (none / 0) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 09:32:34 AM EST
    To send JAG active duty officers to assist DOJ
    in immigration prosecutions. Sessions will teach them what they need to know...and give the resources of the relevant US Codes and his marked pages of the BIble.

    word have meanings (1.00 / 4) (#1)
    by thomas rogan on Wed Jun 20, 2018 at 04:21:07 PM EST
    The Central American economic immigrants crossed all of Mexico rather than settling in a Spanish speaking country.  Perhaps we can likewise give them free passage and let them into Canada if they are really "asylum seekers".  I'm sure Canada would never turn away an asylum seeker, after all.

    You have no idea (none / 0) (#4)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 20, 2018 at 05:01:33 PM EST
    what you are talking about.

    That really bugs you that they speak Spanish, no?


    Who do you think (none / 0) (#5)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 20, 2018 at 05:05:56 PM EST
    screwed up the countries in Central America?  Do you have the first clue about the conditions there?  What caused them?

    No, of course not.


    Do these words have meaning? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Jun 20, 2018 at 09:32:38 PM EST
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated

    Is the seizure of children of tender years from their parents per se unreasonable? If so, is it actionable a la Bivens?


    It is debatable whether undocumented non-citizens (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 20, 2018 at 10:48:17 PM EST
    stopped at the border are part of "the people" (of the United States) whose rights are protected by the Fourth Amendment, or that protecting them from unreasonable seizure is an aspect of ensuring that that "the people" be protected from government excesses. That said, children at the border, like their non-citizen parents, are absolutely "persons" who have a right under the Fifth Amendment to not be deprived by the federal government of "liberty" without "due process of law."

    I worry about the (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 11:06:25 AM EST
    possible spill over from a Supreme Court decision that supports the Muslim ban (Trump v Hawaii). Sessions has argued that aliens outside the US seeking a visa or initial admission have no constitutional rights at all regarding entry to the country.  Essentially, the border is a civil rights-free zone.  Of course, there are major distinctions between separation of families and banning Muslims, but, still.  

    And, that executive order that he did, the one that he claimed for weeks he could not do, rests on the District Court's willingness to modify the Flores agreement, to permit the Secretary to warehouse alien families together throughout the pendency of the criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceeding.


    The "Muslim ban" decision (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 12:41:10 PM EST
    could be released as early as tomorrow (Friday), or else Monday or Thursday of next week. The Supreme Court is winding down its docket for the season.

    Please Peter and Dan (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 12:53:38 PM EST
    Share your analysis when you can.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#2)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jun 20, 2018 at 04:33:32 PM EST
    they heard the words "shining city on the hill" somewhere.

    I'd hate to be you, when you speak with St. Peter. Free passage indeed.

    We were downtown all day (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 20, 2018 at 04:54:38 PM EST
    Just blocks from the White House, but had to get home before we could see how disheveled and out of sorts and confused Trump is this afternoon.

    And now he's at a rally. Likely he will backtrack. Nothing makes him double down like getting nuts at a rally while the Trumpers scream, clap, and chant.

    Morning Joe (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 07:16:13 AM EST
    Had what I think is a pretty good idea this morning.

    If Princess Ivanka who has apparently has been shopping for the last few weeks instead of being "an advocate for women and families" would like to prove she is not what everyone thinks she is here's an idea.

    Take personal charge of reunited all those terrified children with their parents.  Just do it.  If nothing else start a massive program of DNA testing.  Whatever it takes.  Maybe spend some of the millions you have made off your office.

    Just do it.

    It looks like she finally found her voice... (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by vml68 on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 08:35:10 AM EST
    Yes. (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 09:08:20 AM EST
    It's kind of like thanking the guy who just stabbed you in the back for removing the blade.

    Someone said (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 09:20:22 AM EST
    The arsonist saying he is the firefighter

    Pretty unbelievable (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 08:42:49 AM EST
    Still, if there is a shred of humanity stepping up would be the best way I can think of for separating herself from this despicable sh!tshow

    Otoh she might just decide they look delicious


    Could it be Melania (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 11:06:23 AM EST
    Could be the one??

    Watching live.  Actually she is asking the right questions.

    I am as skeptical as you are.

    But maybe,  JUST MAYBE, Melania is breaking free.

    I know.

    I am absurdly optimistic.


    I'm going with (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 11:45:10 AM EST
    Melania is somewhat a crisis actor today

    I think that's most likely

    He explained to her he messed up, he needs her help. He is such an effing ahole every damn day how could that not be inspiring? He messed up, he needs you

    She was a birther though

    She don't fool me

    They will blame contractors now


    Agreed (none / 0) (#29)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 12:56:58 PM EST
    Melania is part of the family and it's WH powered grifting. It is so bad that she has been pressed into action.We are now in spin cycle to abate the self inflicted debacle. The threat to their gig gives all of these monsters,as Joe aptly calls them, the energy to get out of their coffins in the morning for self preservation.

    My God (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 01:40:05 PM EST
    Defense contractors cashed in on family separation contracts

    Melania wore a (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 02:09:36 PM EST
    stylish military jacket to visit detained children, with "I really don't care, do you?" so beautifully displayed on the back.   Says it all.

    I'm sorry to inform you that your optimism (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by vml68 on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 02:02:32 PM EST
    It's (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 03:13:28 PM EST
    really hard to buy the monumental level of stupidity needed to assume it was a random coincidence. I can buy that the klan is stupidly arrogant enough to be this clueless, but they do have entire staffs gaming this sht out. Her CoS or PR flacks didn't see this?

    No, they are monsters, and proud of it.



    Worth asking why a jacket was needed (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 03:20:12 PM EST
    It was 85 in DC and 88 in TX

    More evidence she trolled us (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 22, 2018 at 11:35:28 AM EST
    It's a $39 Zara jacket.

    When in the hell has Melania worn a $39 jacket in the last decade? Do you believe she walked into Zara? I don't. A White House aide probably had it on in the rain and Melania saw it and asked to "borrow it" for a special occasion.


    Where's (none / 0) (#42)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 03:47:56 PM EST
    Linea? She could  surely crack the code(they literally just said that on CNN) for us, right up her alley.

    Hey, remember the pussy bow blouse? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 22, 2018 at 10:58:09 AM EST
    She wore it right after grab em by the.....

    This isn't the first time fashion statement Melania trolled us.


    The two of them (none / 0) (#48)
    by Zorba on Fri Jun 22, 2018 at 01:50:33 PM EST
    deserve each other.
    She was right there with her husband about Obama's birth certificate, etc, you will recall.

    Absolutely (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 22, 2018 at 01:53:12 PM EST
    they deserve each other.

    Who would wear (none / 0) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 02:14:48 PM EST
    this jacket anywhere, at anytime, let alone the First Lady?  I thought her job was to care...at least about shoes and Christmas decorations.

    No (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 02:20:55 PM EST
    I do not

    Please tell me this is from (none / 0) (#36)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 02:24:30 PM EST
    the Onion.

    Stephen Miller (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 02:47:25 PM EST
    is Melania's new fashion designer.

    Nah (none / 0) (#45)
    by FlJoe on Fri Jun 22, 2018 at 05:58:59 AM EST
     at Christmas he just gave her a gift certificate from his favorite outlet.    
    Zara, the brand that made Melania's "I don't care" jacket that she wore to visit a child internment camp, has come under fire in the past for designing clothes that look exactly like Holocaust uniforms.
    and let nature take it's course, I guess we should be thankful she wasn't carrying one of these,
    This isn't the brand's first misstep in regards to Nazi-inspired clothing. In 2007, the brand removed from stores a line of handbags with a symbol on them that resembled a swastika.
    although I suspect Miller might own one, he has a bit of that J Edgar air about him, if you know what I mean.

    Well, I think they (none / 0) (#38)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 02:52:11 PM EST
    are being quite frank here ("..not trying to make any kind of statement")---no hidden message, it's out in the open.

    Bad Idea (none / 0) (#11)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 08:02:49 AM EST
    you need someone with both competence and a heart, both sorely lacking in the entire klan.

    Better idea, they all should commit seppuku. There should be zero atonement allowed, they are monsters.

    Let me repeat, they are monsters, never forget.


    Agreed. (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 10:08:22 AM EST
    The Morning Joe suggestion is fanciful and misses the core concept of the Trump  family and their underlying White House goal...grifting and conning.

     They are all in it together, sometimes playing good cop and bad cop.  Ivanka and Jared reported $82 million in income the first year they were advisers to Trump in the White House (a range in reporting, could be up to $200 million).

      Trump, in his meeting yesterday with Republicans asked that they not block the ZTE deal because....global negotiations.  Not to mention the Trumpster deals, and those licenses in China for the feckless Ivanka's handbags and coffins.


    Ha (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 10:24:20 AM EST
    Your cynicism is a beautiful thing

    Good cop/Bad cop (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 11:37:11 AM EST

    Thank you Dan! Ivanka performing good cop today!

    This is the 3rd or 4th event that they deemed required a good cop leak.

    And it's one of the fuels our griftopia is running on.


    Ok (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 at 08:12:08 AM EST
    Point taken

    Melania's wearing of (none / 0) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jun 23, 2018 at 11:22:29 AM EST
    of the jacket is, in this case, enough of a fascist symbol.  She wore it getting on the plane, and, then again, for the plane ride back, as if there was no wifi on her plane or other communication regarding reactions/perceptions coming in.  

    And, as usual, the cascade of lies: Melania spokesperson said it is a jacket, no hidden message (which was, inadvertently, true), and then, Trump tweeted, no there was a message, Melania was sending a message on fake news.  If not quite a swastika, it was surely a middle finger to the outrage of the Trumpist debacle, period.

    Please stay on topic (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 24, 2018 at 10:23:17 PM EST
    this is not an open thread. Thank you.