Here’s What The Trump Administration Is Planning Next For Immigrant Families

Rantt Rundown: Day 518 of the Trump presidency

Ever Castillo, left, and his family, immigrants from Honduras, are escorted back across the border by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Hildalgo, Texas. The parents were told they would be separated from their children and voluntarily crossed back to Mexico after trying to seek asylum in the United States. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Ever Castillo, left, and his family, immigrants from Honduras, are escorted back across the border by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Hildalgo, Texas. The parents were told they would be separated from their children and voluntarily crossed back to Mexico after trying to seek asylum in the United States. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The last few weeks have been harrowing. From reports of immigrant baby internment camps, forced injections on the children, and abuse at juvenile centers, it’s been very tough to keep up with the atrocities. The Trump administration’s separation of over 2,300 children from their parents at the US-Mexico border has tested the moral core of our nation. What happens next will test our resilience.

Many of these migrants are asylum seekers, fleeing violence and cruelty from Central America only to be welcomed by more cruelty from the country that has “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” enshrined on its Statue of Liberty. After President Trump yielded to the public pressure and signed an executive order on Wednesday ending this separation, there has been much confusion about what comes next for those already separated and the immigrants yet to cross the border. Today, reports began to paint a clearer picture of what the executive order means and what’s next.

No concrete plans for reunification appear to be in sight for the families who have already been separated, with the Associated Press reporting only 500 total have been reunited. And it appears indefinite internment camps for immigrant families and unaccompanied minors on military bases are in the future. But a Washington Post report indicated the U.S. Border Patrol will stop referring immigrant families to the Justice Department for prosecution. So what does it all mean? Here’s the rundown:

So, as we know, the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all undocumented immigrants who cross the southern border unlawfully has resulted in at least 2,342 immigrant children separated from their parents between May 5 and June 9, according to the Department of Homeland Security. At least 700 more had been separated before the policy was officially announced. Trump’s executive order did not end “zero tolerance,” which is the real problem.

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced “zero tolerance,” prosecutorial discretion was ended. That means officers who once had the ability to decide whether or not to prosecute immigrants at the border no longer have that ability and must prosecute all of them. The executive order still ensures all undocumented immigrants are prosecuted, but now the parents must be detained with their children.

This brings up the Flores settlement which ruled that children must not be detained for more than 20 days, which the Trump administration will be violating with their indefinite detention of the families. The Trump administration has reportedly filed papers seeking permission for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold the families together during prosecution.

In order to have the capacity to house them, President Trump has ordered the Department of Defense (DOD) to create room on U.S. military bases where these migrants can be indefinitely held during the prosecution process. Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told The Washington Post that they would freeze criminal prosecution referrals for families at the border, but the Justice Department said the prosecutions will continue but the discretion of referral is in the hands of Border Patrol. This decision was reportedly made for logistical reasons because prosecuting all 400+ families that cross the border each day would create an unsustainable detention nightmare. Let’s see how this Border Patrol discretion policy plays out, and whether or not it will drastically decrease prosecutions.

In order to house the families that are prosecuted and the ones already in custody, the U.S. government will likely create more tent cities, which are highly expensive to the U.S. taxpayer.

This undated photo provided by HHS’ Administration for Children and Families shows the shelter used to house unaccompanied foreign children in Tornillo, Texas. (HHS’ Administration for Children and Families via AP)

This undated photo provided by HHS’ Administration for Children and Families shows the shelter used to house unaccompanied foreign children in Tornillo, Texas. (HHS’ Administration for Children and Families via AP)

The DOD has also agreed to house up to 20,000 unaccompanied minors on military bases. The Washington Post reported:

HHS has about 12,000 migrant children in its care, nearly 10,000 of whom arrived without their parents. It was not immediately clear why HHS had projected a need for 20,000 temporary beds, given that Trump’s executive order will reduce the number of children taken into government custody.

HHS officials had no immediate comment.

We will effectively have migrant internment camps around the U.S. The Washington Post has created an interactive map in an effort to crowdsource the current location of some of the children who are currently separated.

There is still a lot up in the air, but don’t worry, the White House is reportedly just as confused as we are.

With reports of abuse like what the Associated Press reported today, we need answers fast:

Virginia’s governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the probe in a tweet hours after The Associated Press reported the allegations. They were included in a federal civil rights lawsuit with a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino youths held for months or years at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center. The AP report also cited an adult who saw bruises and broken bones the children said were caused by guards.

Children as young as 14 said the guards there stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads.

“Whenever they used to restrain me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me,” said a Honduran immigrant who was sent to the facility when he was 15 years old. “Strapped me down all the way, from your feet all the way to your chest, you couldn’t really move. … They have total control over you. They also put a bag over your head. It has little holes; you can see through it. But you feel suffocated with the bag on.”

Meanwhile…

  • Melania Trump visited immigrant children during an unannounced trip to the US-Mexico border. Her choice of wardrobe…took many by surprise, to say the least.

President Trump sought to “clarify” this.

By a razor-thin margin, the House of Representatives passed its version of the farm bill Thursday as Republican leadership was able to round up just enough support from members of its conservative wing to clear passage.

The GOP-backed measure, which covers farm and food policy legislation, passed 213-211.

The $867 billion package renews the safety net for farmers across the country, but also includes tougher work requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Program or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.

  • There was more movement on the GOP’s next attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

States will be able to force more people to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a Supreme Court decision Thursday that will leave shoppers with lighter wallets but is a big financial win for states.

Consumers can expect to see sales tax charged on more online purchases — likely over the next year and potentially before the Christmas shopping season — as states and retailers react to the court’s decision, said one attorney involved in the case

President Trump hopes to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in the next few weeks even as the American leader increasingly clashes with European allies over how to counter Moscow’s assertive actions in Europe and the Middle East.

Mr. Trump is sending his national security adviser, John R. Bolton, to Moscow next week to discuss a possible meeting. Mr. Trump is already scheduled to attend a NATO summit meeting in Brussels next month, followed by a long-delayed visit to Britain. He could presumably add a stop in another country like Austria to see Mr. Putin.

Rundown // Child Separation / Donald Trump / Human Rights / Immigration