Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented a harsh new policy that tears immigrant families apart — and he's using phony numbers to do it.
The Trump administration is using a made up number to justify ripping immigrant families apart.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that separating children from their families would be a key component of how the government intends to police people crossing the southern border.
And he was very clear about the cruelty in store for anyone crossing the border with a child. "We will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law," he declared.
Everyone crossing the border — including those seeking asylum from persecution — will be referred to the Department of Justice to be prosecuted for illegal entry.
Internal documents being used by the Department of Homeland Security to justify the policy refer to a pilot project used at the El Paso sector of the border. Those documents claim that border crossings dropped by 64 percent after the harsher policy was put in place. The memo alleges "this decrease was attributed to the prosecution of adults . . . for illegal entry."
But that is a lie.
When the policy was in place in El Paso, the number of families crossing the border actually increased.
In July 2017, 231 family-unit members crossed the border. As the policy was implemented, the count for crossings in November 2017 show 379 family-unit members making the journey.
As Vox notes in its reporting, the data shows an increase in apprehensions, "the opposite of what the administration's statistic suggested."
Families will now be split up and cruelty imposed on already vulnerable people. And the numbers do not justify the harsh penalty.
But the behavior is in line with the Trump administration's hostile and racist attitudes. Since Trump assumed office, he and Sessions have pushed for any and all methods at their disposal to attack immigrants.
Trump infamously launched his presidential campaign calling Mexicans rapists — something he stands by even now. And he continues to advocate for a completely useless and expensive wall on the southern border.
Using a fake number to justify a policy that doesn't work the way they claim it does fits right in with the Trump approach: deceptive, ineffective, and bigoted.