A new report reveals sickening new details about what happened under Trump's family separation policy.
Trump's family separation policy is already an ugly stain on this country, but we're still learning the full extent of its horror.
This week, news broke that nearly a thousand children were unlawfully detained for more than three days — often in cages with no beds or showers — and that Trump's Border Patrol failed to keep track of children who were too young to have learned to speak.
According to an inspector general's report obtained by The Washington Post, Border Patrol facilities detained at least 860 minors in holding cells past the 72-hour legal limit. In one case, a child was held in such a cell for 25 days.
Many of these children, the Post notes, were kept in "chain-link holding pens," in facilities that "were designed as short-term way stations, lacking beds and showers."
The inspector general's report also says the Border Patrol did nothing to keep track of children ripped away from their parents who were too young to have learned to speak, the Post reports:
“Border Patrol does not provide pre-verbal children with wrist bracelets or other means of identification, nor does Border Patrol fingerprint or photograph most children during processing to ensure that they can be easily linked with the proper file,” the report said.
The inspector general also found that the Department of Homeland Security lied when it told the public that there was a "central database" to reunify parents who had their children ripped away from them.
Investigators interviewed several employees at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and none of them knew anything about such a database.
“DHS has since acknowledged to the OIG [Office of the Inspector General] that there is no ‘direct electronic interface’ between DHS and HHS tracking systems," the report says.
These disturbing revelations come just days after the release of documents that showed DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen personally approved the family separation policy — even though she publicly denied, including under oath, that such a policy existed at all.
The Trump administration was warned about the harm this policy would do to children, but officials went ahead with it anyway.
And the severe trauma of separating young children from their parents appears to have been a feature of the policy, not a bug, as several Trump administration officials bragged about the "deterrent" value of the zero-tolerance policy.
Destroying the lives of immigrant families might be catnip to Trump's racist base — but it's a disgrace to everything America is supposed to stand for.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.