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The U.S. Has Been In The Business Of Breaking Up Families For Years

ICE under Obama averaged 309,887 arrests per year from 2009-2012, while ICE under Trump averaged 139,553 in 2017.
 http://www.mintpressnews.com/deportations-obama-trump/243948/

The U.S. Has Been in the Business of Breaking Up Families For Years

June 14th, 2018

By Brian Sonenstein

CNN's Jake Tapper asked Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein about a bill she introduced, which would prohibit the federal government from separating immigrant children from their families during arrests at ports of entry or within 100 miles of the border of the United States.

As he asked his question, Tapper brought up a photo taken in 2014 of children sleeping on the floor of a cage at an immigrant detention center.

"There were a lot of things done to undocumented immigrants that the immigrant community was very upset about during the Obama years, that Democrats didn't seem that outspoken about," Tapper said. "What do you say to people who say, where was all this activism during the Obama years?"

"I don't believe that it was nearly to the extent that it is done today," Feinstein said. "And candidly, I didn't really know enough about it at the time to focus on it. I do know enough about it now."

Immigration arrests rose during President Donald Trump's first year in office when he reinstated the Secure Communities Program (S-Comm), which began in 2008 under President George W. Bush and continued into President Barack Obama's second term.

But the rate of arrests under S-Comm today has stabilized at a level far below that of the Obama administration. Back then, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made arrests at a rate that was more than double what it is under Trump, according to analysis from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

ICE under Obama averaged 309,887 arrests per year from 2009-2012, while ICE under Trump averaged 139,553 in 2017.

Obama set records between 2008 and 2014 with the number of people arrested and placed in deportation proceedings under S-Comm. Those numbers plummeted by more than half in 2015, when S-Comm was replaced by the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP).

Both programs use fingerprints collected during bookings by state and local police departments to identify individuals for deportation. The primary difference between the two programs is PEP attempted to put greater emphasis on deporting people who had been convicted of a crime.

"Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who's working hard to provide for her kids. We'll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day," Obama said as his administration assumed a posture of being "smart on crime."

Arrest rates dropped significantly under PEP. Still, 221,763 people were arrested during the two years it was in place.

According to TRAC, PEP mostly reduced arrests that came through law enforcement referrals. The rate of other arrests in the community (at homes, in courthouses, at workplaces, and other locations) remained relatively unchanged over those two years.

TRAC's findings dovetail with the number of deportations and detainers in which ICE requests local police hold someone while they investigate and initiate deportation under each administration.

The rate at which detainers were issued increased slightly in Trump's first few months of office before leveling off. Still, they were issued at roughly half the rate they were during S-Comm when Obama was president. And it's the same situation for deportations.

*

Senator Feinstein claimed she "didn't really know enough about it at the time to focus on it" but does "know enough about it now," pointing to recent hearings in the Judiciary Committee.

Feinstein was on the same committee in 2013 when it held hearings amid talk of an immigration reform package. It was major news that year.

Anti-deportation protesters interrupted the hearing multiple times. Senators heard testimony from undocumented activist Jose Antonio Vargas, who said,"We dream of not being separated from our families and our loved ones, regardless of sexual orientation, no matter our skill set. This government has deported more than 1.6 million people, ­­fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, ­­in the past four years."

By 2013, undocumented activists had been organizing and sounding alarm over the separation of families from deportation and detention for years. Protestors were in that room because the president promised to negotiate an immigration reform package on the campaign trail, only to turn around and dramatically expand the deportation machine while in office.

In fact, Feinstein was under fire in 2015 from immigration activists because of legislation that would attack sanctuary jurisdictions by forcing governments to cooperate with ICE in apprehending immigrants.

As reported by Politico, "Feinstein's bill is trying to get us to the point where we continue to generate fear at the local level. She is basically ... joining the Donald Trump bandwagon," said Cristina Jimenez, managing director of United We Dream.

Feinstein told Tapper "at least 50 children a day are taken from their parents. And the thing is, they're taken and no one knows what happens to them. Their parents don't know how to find them. And you have now the first person, one of the fathers, that died in jail."

Breaking up of families and separation of children from their parents is a practice that dates back to the Obama administration. As Rewire News has pointed out, men were routinely separated from their children and families during deportation proceedings.

Immigrants were held in family detention centers that were rife with sexual abuse and lacked adequate facilities and medical care. Obama claimed the administration would stop sending immigrants to family detention centers in 2009, or rather limited to exceptional circumstances in a single state. But family detention continued, as did the trauma and abuse.

Six years later, when the Obama administration went to court to try and continue family detention, and when a federal court again ordered the administration to release children held in detention because they weren't licensed for childcare, the administration circumvented the decision's intent to end that detention by getting Texas to change its child care licensing procedures to keep them open.

In January 2016, the Obama administration openly targeted immigrant families for arrest, separation, and deportation via early dawn raids. It was part of an explicit strategy to attempt to scare people fleeing death and abuse in their home countries from crossing the US border.

This deterrence strategy included ad campaigns in Central American countries discouraging people from making the trip by warning them of detention and deportation.

Hillary Clinton, who Feinstein endorsed for president, said, "We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn't mean the child gets to stay."

Between 2012 and 2016, dozens of immigrants died in detention.

"I find it just inhumane, callous, and something I never thought my country would do. So it's very worrisome and we've got to stop it," Feinstein concluded.

Yet, to some extent, the U.S. government has had an inhumane or callous immigration policy since at least Obama.

Top Photo | Upset with President Barack Obama's immigration policy, about 250 people march to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office with a goal of stopping future deportations on Monday Oct. 14, 2013, in Phoenix. The protesters chanted "no more deportations" and "shut down ICE." (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Published in partnership with Shadowproof.  link to shadowproof.com

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Happened with the G.W. Bush, Clinton, and Obama Administrations 21.Jun.2018 13:34

A.Z.

*But* not in the same way that it has been happening with Trump. Stop with selective amnesia. And the wholesale separating of immigrant families has never been okay in the eyes of many, regardless of what administration it occurred under. All of this "whataboutism" is the weakest argument. From Matt Welch at Reason Magazine.
-----------------------------------------
The Factual and Rhetorical Silliness of Family Separation Whataboutism
People who supported Trump's policy justified it by falsely claiming that today's critics never cared about Obama's detention facilities.

Matt Welch|Jun. 20, 2018 4:02 pm

"OBAMA KEPT THEM IN CAGES," screams the headline at The Drudge Report. "WRAPPED THEM IN FOIL." Which seems like an odd way to advertise the virtues of President Donald Trump's freshly discontinued policy of separating children from parents caught entering the country without permission, although perhaps I'm not the target audience.

The story Drudge links to is even odder. "HERE ARE THE PHOTOS OF OBAMA'S ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT DETENTION FACILITIES THE MEDIA WON'T SHOW YOU," The Daily Caller proclaims. "Photos of border detention facilities from the Obama-era, taken during 2014, look nearly identical to the ones taken during the Trump era," reporter Benny Johnson writes. "You never see them, however. Here they are, taken in 2014 during a media tour of Obama-era detention facilities in Brownsville, Texas, and Nogales, Arizona." It's like a Möbius strip of sophomoric right-wing media criticism. THE MSM NEVER SHOWS YOU THESE PHOTOS THAT WERE TAKEN BY THE MSM!

To say that there was "no outrage" about Obama's detention facilities is to tacitly admit that looking up news articles published in 2014 is just too heavy a lift. The opportunistic-outrage charge gets levied at Reason every time we write about the Trump administration's immigration enforcement policies. "Children in cages in 2014 was okay because Obama," one self-described "Classical Liberal" recently tweeted at us.

Yeah, no.

"Obama Is No BFF of Latino Immigrants or Civil Liberties," says another Reason headline from the time. "How Obama's War on Drugs Destroys Legal Immigrant Families," goes another. The search engine is your friend.

To the extent that a through line can be detected within family-separation whataboutism, it's something like TRUMP GOOD, MEDIA/DEMOCRATS BAD. Fair enough. But today's most dexterous whataboutists are depriving themselves of a key insight today that may cushion the blow of tomorrow's disappointments. Yes, yes, it's true—you can even find it on my Twitter feed and Reason archive!—that some of the politicians criticizing Trump's policies this past week spent other periods in their lives echoing some of the president's immigration rhetoric and policy recommendations. Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, John McCain, Bill Clinton; the list is long.

But what do we learn when examining how pols—very much including Donald Trump—have changed their minds or emphases on a given hot-button issue? One perennial lesson is that most politicians are full of dukey and hold their fingers to the winds of public opinion. But if you hate John McCain and Bill Clinton as much as the average Trump enthusiast does, shouldn't it make you feel less comfortable, not more, that they sounded like immigration hawks precisely when they felt that their re-election chances were threatened (Clinton in 1995-96, McCain in 2010)?

It's easy to notice when politicians you despise make insincere, absolutist promises they cannot possibly fulfill on issues you care deeply about. But what if the new guy you do like, who only truly came to this issue in the course of trying to win a highly competitive Republican primary, was also pandering? What if it turns out you cannot "seal the border," can't get Mexico to pay for a wall, and can't even build the sucker yourself without bulldozing the whole notion of private property? What if, in the course of pursuing these impossible zero-tolerance dreams, you employ police-state tactics that overwhelming majorities of Americans find abhorrent?

When all that happens (it's really not an if), it may be time to examine your own assumptions about what is possible, let alone desirable, in immigration policy. Until then, though, TRUMP GOOD, MEDIA/DEMOCRATS BAD.

To the extent that a through line can be detected within family-separation whataboutism, it's something like TRUMP GOOD, MEDIA/DEMOCRATS BAD. Fair enough. But today's most dexterous whataboutists are depriving themselves of a key insight today that may cushion the blow of tomorrow's disappointments. Yes, yes, it's true—you can even find it on my Twitter feed and Reason archive!—that some of the politicians criticizing Trump's policies this past week spent other periods in their lives echoing some of the president's immigration rhetoric and policy recommendations. Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, John McCain, Bill Clinton; the list is long.

But what do we learn when examining how pols—very much including Donald Trump—have changed their minds or emphases on a given hot-button issue? One perennial lesson is that most politicians are full of dukey and hold their fingers to the winds of public opinion. But if you hate John McCain and Bill Clinton as much as the average Trump enthusiast does, shouldn't it make you feel less comfortable, not more, that they sounded like immigration hawks precisely when they felt that their re-election chances were threatened (Clinton in 1995-96, McCain in 2010)?

It's easy to notice when politicians you despise make insincere, absolutist promises they cannot possibly fulfill on issues you care deeply about. But what if the new guy you do like, who only truly came to this issue in the course of trying to win a highly competitive Republican primary, was also pandering? What if it turns out you cannot "seal the border," can't get Mexico to pay for a wall, and can't even build the sucker yourself without bulldozing the whole notion of private property? What if, in the course of pursuing these impossible zero-tolerance dreams, you employ police-state tactics that overwhelming majorities of Americans find abhorrent?

When all that happens (it's really not an if), it may be time to examine your own assumptions about what is possible, let alone desirable, in immigration policy. Until then, though, TRUMP GOOD, MEDIA/DEMOCRATS BAD.

Link to Reason Magazine article and "whataboutism" 21.Jun.2018 13:37

A.Z.


[QUOTE]: "*But* not in the same way that it has been happening with Trump." 21.Jun.2018 14:17

No, not the same -

Trump has not come close to Obama's record level of deportations.


ICE under Obama averaged 309,887 arrests per year from 2009-2012, while ICE under Trump averaged 139,553 in 2017.

Obama set records between 2008 and 2014 with the number of people arrested and placed in deportation proceedings under S-Comm.


In 2014, President Obama put hundreds of families in immigration detention but federal courts stopped them from holding families for months without trial, resulting in the release of families to return for trial.
( Trump has taken the approach of arresting the parents and holding the children. )


In January 2016, the Obama administration openly targeted immigrant families for arrest, separation, and deportation via early dawn raids. It was part of an explicit strategy to attempt to scare people fleeing death and abuse in their home countries from crossing the US border.


From 2009 to 2016, Obama oversaw the forcible removal of more than 3 million undocumented immigrants.


Trump has not come close to Obama's record level of deportations.













Separating children from their parents is justified as a deterrent to convince people not to attempt to cross the border, but it has not worked.

The children are also a bargaining chip. Trump will not change the policy unless Congress agrees to his immigration demands, including the border wall, tightening the rules for border enforcement and curbing legal entry.

In turn, the Democrats are using child separation as a tool for the 2018 election. Both parties are holding immigrant children hostage for their agendas.

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2018/06/436217.shtml
Protect Immigrants' Rights: End The Crises That Drive Migration

This issue is not a contest 21.Jun.2018 17:40

\|\|

Irregardless of what President did it the most, the process is failing and its detrimental. To debate and argue over what political party is worse with immigration regulations takes the focus off the point and the issue. These twisted ICE detention centers, secretl gaged holding cells and prison networks are deplorable. That's the fact and that's what needs to be changed \ addressed. The blame game is obscuring the root problem. The tipping point is here and now.

"blame game is obscuring the root problem" — FULLY Agreed. 21.Jun.2018 18:08

_

hence certain Ideologically-blinded persons with irrational, splenetic hatred of a particular individual who Resides Rent-Free within their skulls, who keep commenting and presenting their "evidence" (actually to the contrary) that the current U.S. administration is somehow more greatly responsible for an undocumented immigrant plight, than were preceding administrations.


p.s. the article here, tellingly entitled "U.S. Has Been In The Business Of Breaking Up Families For Years", in addition to the other linked-above article "Protect Immigrants' Rights: End The Crises That Drive Migration" on PDX IMC Newswire, are each quite explicit in not only being nonideological regarding the topic but also correctly casting blame across both major American political parties.
....... it is only over-eager Trumpbashing commenters who believe that the country has been taken over by a Nazi Dictatorship when in fact the 2008-2016 U.S. administration was a true 'holocaust' in terms of undocumented immigrants.