Graham Lanktree reports:

“The Trump administration is drafting a new policy to quickly deport more than 150,000 child migrants from Central America who arrived alone in the U.S. illegally, creating a new class of undocumented migrants.

The Department of Justice and Homeland Security is drawing up a policy proposal in a series of memos, according to two sources with knowledge of the internal debate who spoke to the Miami Herald.

As it stands, the plan would allow for teens and children who arrived in the U.S. illegally by themselves to be put on a fast track to deportation when they turn 18. Most of these children have traveled thousands of miles alone from Central American countries, including Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, to escape violence and poverty.

The policy wouldn’t allow the teens to plead their case before an immigration judge.

The discussions follow controversy within the government about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, a program implemented by Barack Obama, which protects children brought to the country illegally by their parents from deportation.

Speaking about the new policy plans, a former U.S. Justice Department official told the Herald, “The concern is that most people at DOJ know this will likely be viewed as illegal and do not want to have to defend this in court if they can avoid it.”

Current law “doesn’t give the administration a lot of flexibility with how to deal with unaccompanied children,” said a U.S. official familiar with the internal debate about the policy. “This administration still has its hands somewhat tied with what it can do with that population,” that person said.

. . . .

The new policy around unaccompanied children is part of the Attorney General’s efforts to avoid creating a another protected group of illegal immigrants like those under DACA, the Herald’s sources said.

The arrival of unaccompanied children and families from Central America peaked in 2014. In the year between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says it encountered 67,339 unaccompanied children.

At the height of the influx in June 2014, 27,000 people, including unaccompanied children and families, crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. Three months later the number dropped below 5,000 following crackdowns by the U.S. and Mexico governments.

More than 150,000 children have been referred by Homeland Security to the Office of Refugee Resettlement since that time. The program cares for unaccompanied children after they are caught at the border by officials and either places them in shelters, with sponsors, or relatives in the U.S.

About 63 percent and 73 percent of the unaccompanied youth who arrive at the border are between 15 and 17 years old, making a large group of those who are in the U.S vulnerable to deportation if the administration moves ahead with the policy.

“For a growing population of migrants deported from Mexico and the United States to Central America, the conditions upon return typically are worse than when they left, setting up a revolving-door cycle of migration, deportation, and remigration,” according to the nonprofit Migration Policy Institute. The group advocates better programs to reintegrate those who are deported to their home country.

If the Trump administration decides to move ahead with the policy proposal it will it will likely meet similar opposition to Trump’s travel ban on people coming to the U.S. from six Muslim-majority nations. Elements of the ban have been blocked by federal courts and a legal case against the policy will be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court this fall.

The new policy on unaccompanied minors could be blocked by the courts almost immediately, said Leon Fresco, the former head of the Office of Immigration Litigation at the Justice Department during the Obama administration.

The question is, Fresco said, “whether the administration wants to add this to the travel ban, sanctuary cities, Byrne Jag grants, and DACA repeal to the issues they would want the Supreme Court to have to decide this year.”


Read the complete report at the link.

These kids clearly are entitled to full and fair hearings before U.S. Immigration Judges with full rights of appeal. So, whatever Gonzo Apocalypto has up his sleeve must be clearly illegal.

DOJ career lawyers probably realize that their law licenses, and perhaps their individual freedom, could be at stake for participating in such an illegal operation. It would be nice to think that Sessions could also be held accountable under the law. But, as a high-ranking Government official, he’s likely to escape liability under the current Supreme Court rulings. Besides, Trump (or Pence) would probably pardon him anyway in the tradition of his fellow racist xenophobe “Racist Joe.”







  1. I read about the AG Sessions’ comments in Boston about UACs being wolves in sheep’s clothing with utter dismay and disbelief. Not one – of the hundreds – of children who have fled from miserable conditions in Central America – that have passed through our doors has even remotely resembled a wolf, much less a criminal gang member.

    They are in fact fleeing from the U.S.A. created criminal gangs of the 1990s in California, who mostly as children were left to fend for themselves in their native countries following the civil wars in Central America. Civil wars funded and encouraged by the U.S.A. government, to further the US economic interests in those countries’ natural resources.

    When those same children came to the U.S.A. to try to make a decent life and/or reunite with their parents already here, those kids had to face U.S.A. criminal gangs, and taking a cue from American culture, formed their own criminal gangs in self-defense. Subsequently, many of those forgotten children were subsequently deported back to Central America, and they took with them a culture of violence that they learned in the U.S.A.

    Consequently, the youngsters who in recent years have come to the U.S.A. from Central America as UACs, fleeing in large part not just poverty, but from the very violence that the United States was complicit in the first place.

    Sad. They say pity is beneath contempt, but I have a hard time pitying this administration that chooses to blame innocent victims in this tragedy, and uses them as pawns to further their agendas to make America white again. Those misguided snake-oil peddlars, like Steve Bannon and Ann Coulter, are as much to blame as AG Sessions and DT.

    Shame on them all.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Roxanne! This is a shameless lot of individuals who are pushing their White Nationalist, xenophobic program.

      I also think that ultimately Sessions is assisting the gangs in the US. What a great recruiting tool: show kids that our society has judged them as worthless without listening to their evidence, has no intention of living up to our obligation to provide fair treatment and refuge in many cases, and intends to railroad them out of the country. In the Sessons world, if an undocumented kid tries to go to the authorities for protection against gangs or to help them with a criminal case, he or she is like as not to end up “prioritized” for removal. Also, many gang recruitment targets and victims are themselves undocumented individuals who were not UACs. Others have family members here in unlawful status. How is Sessions’s rant going to encourage them to trust the police and even DHS in reporting incidents? It’s likely to drive otherwise decent kids straight into the arms of the gangs who offer them something that Sessions doesn’t: acceptance, belonging, power, and respect. Sessions disrespect for the entire immigrant community, documented and undocumented, is simply terrible.

      Finally, as I’ve pointed out before, removals, although necessary, are not really an effective solution to the gang problem because not all gang members are foreign nationals. And, unlike folks who have to pay smugglers, gangs don’t really have that much problem getting their folks back into the US if they really want to. Nor do their fear prisons, here or abroad, because gangs often exercise control in prisons and sometimes can continue to run their illegal activities while doing time. It’s sort of like an “intracompany transfer.” What they do fear is being imprisoned in an institution controlled by a rival gang where they are going to get a knife stuck in the back. But, encouraging gang warfare in institutions doesn’t seem like an appropriate enforcement strategy, even in the age of Sessions.

      Any successful strategy for combatting gangs has to involve individuals from the ethnic communities, and most likely will involve getting help and ideas from some folks who are here without documentation. “Clueless old white guys” like Sessions simply don’t have the skills or judgement necessary to be effective.

      What Sessions doesn’t want to acknowledge is that every Administration since Reagan in the 1980s has employed some type of “get tough deportation” strategy against gangs. It simply isn’t effective in the long run. Gangs are actually somewhat adaptable; Sessions and the law enforcement hierarchy not so much. I have yet so see any piece of creative, thoughtful law enforcement strategy, on any topic, come out of this Administration. It just “double down” or “triple down” on past strategies that are demonstrably ineffective in fighting gangs and crime in the long run. Been there, done that. At least I learned something, which is more than I can say for Sessions and his cronies.


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