No, thanks by @BloggersRUs

No, thanks

by Tom Sullivan

The Women Disobey protest against US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) "zero tolerance" policy separation children and families at the US/Mexico border. Photo by Sarahmirk [CC BY-SA 4.0], June 2018.

Whatever my own misfortunes, this Thanksgiving I count them nothing compared to those of people so much worse off: victims of natural disasters, life-threatening illnesses, violence and poverty. Also, victims of man-made disasters.

It is difficult to conceive of the pain families separated at the U.S. southern border endure each day. President Donald Trump's "Zero Tolerance" effectively made orphans of thousands of children. It is no surprise there were more separated from parents than earlier reported:

The internal watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security found that the Trump administration anticipated it would separate 26,000 children if the "zero tolerance" policy of 2018 had been allowed to continue, and that the agency knew it lacked the technology to track and reunite children with their parents.

Officials at Customs and Border Protection, the DHS agency responsible for separating families under the May-June 2018 policy, estimated in May of that year that it would separate more than 26,000 children by September, according to the report from the DHS Office of Inspector General, released publicly on Wednesday. After mounting pressure, President Donald Trump signed an executive order ending the policy on June 20, 2018.
Even knowing in advance they might never reunite 26,000 children with their parents, the report finds, did not cause administration reconsideration of its policy that left several thousand children parentless by government action:
Wednesday's report said CBP officials forged ahead with the policy even though they knew ahead of time that the agency lacked the proper technology to track and reunify children with their parents.

"Because of these IT deficiencies, we could not confirm the total number of families DHS separated during the Zero Tolerance period," the report said.


"Under a normal operational cadence, we would have tweaked or adjusted DHS data systems, trained our officers, prepared our detention providers. But not one of these steps were taken," said Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, former ICE deputy assistant director for custody management who now works at the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service as the director for children and family services.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, issued a statement with the report's release:
“If there was any doubt, the Inspector General’s report provides further proof the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance policy was intended to inflict cruelty on asylum seekers. DHS separated children from their parents knowing they had no system to track them and no plan to reunify them. The Administration bungled implementation so badly the Inspector General still cannot verify whether more children were separated than reported or if they have been reunited. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of man-hours were wasted on separating families rather than further securing the border and facilitating cross-border travel and trade. The Trump Administration has had one failed border policy after another, but family separation stands out as a continual disaster.”
Trump did this. We did this.

"Home Alone" this is not for thousands of children and parents. Perhaps these pilgrim families can, in their anguish, find something for which they can be thankful today. Many left violent countries where their very lives were at risk. Here, at least, no one is actively threatening to kill them, only to deport them to where someone else might.