WaPo 2015: Obama Administration Punishing Children

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

The Washington Post said Customs was punishing children for crossing the border but no one cared because Obama.

The idea of punishing children in now a full blown moral panic both fueling and being fueled by Trump Derangement Syndrome.

The rage is entirely partisan because it’s nothing new:

Yet somehow this practice now means that Donald Trump must break his promise to enforce our immigration laws. Republicans are bolting even though the children are being treated quite well.

The Washington Post reported on March 11, 2015: “Mexican kids held for months as punishment for border-crossing.

Last spring, as Central American children flooded into Texas in a way he had never seen in his three-decade career, Border Patrol agent Robert Harris decided to experiment.

His intelligence analysts estimated that 78 percent of the guides smuggling other migrants were Mexicans younger than 18 — teenagers often hired or conscripted by drug cartels that knew they would not be prosecuted if caught — and he wanted to attack this loophole.

“Why don’t we remove these juveniles from the smuggling cycle?” Harris, the outgoing commander of the Laredo sector of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, recalled thinking.

Now, as a result of that decision, young Mexicans are being held for months without charge in shelters across the United States, sometimes without their parents’ knowledge. Since the program began in May, 536 juveniles have been held — 248 of whom have been deported to Mexico after an average stay of 75 days, according to Border Patrol statistics. Mexican authorities say some of these repeat border-crossers have spent as much as six months in U.S. custody while they await an appearance before an immigration judge.

During their detention, they are questioned by U.S. authorities and then transferred to a network of facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, across 15 states. While confined, they undergo psychological evaluations and take English courses. Some are allowed tourist-type activities, such as going to the beach or museums, according to Mexican consular officials in Texas. At least one youth earned a high school general equivalency diploma.

“We haven’t heard of any mistreatment,” said Erasmo R. Martinez, Mexico’s consul in McAllen, Tex.

But the little-known program, called the Juvenile Referral Process, has worried human rights groups and some Mexican officials who fear that it puts the children at risk. They view it as a way for U.S. authorities to gather intelligence about cartels and think it endangers the children who could be targeted as informants when they return to Mexico. Some question the legality of the extended detentions.

Read the entire story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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