Democrats ‘deeply concerned’ about Biden report could bring back ‘kids in cages’
Democrats are fighting like crazy A report that the Biden administration is considering reinstating family detention of migrants — reminiscent of the Trump administration’s so-called “kids in cages” craze.
The President abolished this practice when he took office and actively opposed it, saying, “Families belong together.”
But as Title 42 — a pandemic-era measure that allows authorities to promptly deport migrants — expires in May, senior White House and Homeland Security officials are discussing the possibility of restarting the program, the New York Times reports.
“These reports are deeply concerning – restoring family detention would be a grave mistake,” Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., member of the Homeland Security Committee, tweeted about the news.
“Instead of relying on costly failed strategies that traumatize migrants and cruelly encourage more families to separate, we must focus on building a safe and humane immigration system.”
The Trump administration arrested children and their families crossing the border. The Biden administration chose to temporarily release families to the US ahead of their hearings, believing the policy was “more humane.”
President Joe Biden is said to be considering reintroducing a family detention program for migrants illegally crossing the southern border. He is pictured here in Alabama on Sunday
Angeldry Galeno, a Venezuelan migrant trying to apply for asylum in the United States using the CBP ONE application and whose husband traveled to a different point of entry into the United States to attend his immigration appointment, changes her daughter’s clothing into one Shelter near the Mexican border and the United States on February 3rd
Nanette Barragán, chair of the Hispanic Caucus in Congress, called the report “deeply concerning”. “A fair, safe and humane immigration system should not detain families,” she added.
House and Senate Democrats were caught off guard by the report and felt overwhelmed by the White House’s policy decisions for the second time in two weeks.
Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas will address the Hispanic caucus virtually at 4 p.m. to explain the surprise U-turn.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss, said in a statement he was “alarmed” by the report” and urged the Biden administration to change course “if true.”
“I think it may have been brought up for discussion internally,” Sen. Bob Menendez, DN.J., told reporters about the directive. “But this government has ended this form of incarceration, for the best will in the world I can’t understand why they would bring her back.”
While some immediately voiced their opposition, others declined to show any light between themselves and the Biden administration.
Homeland Security Chairman Gary Peters, D-Mich., told DailyMail.com he has yet to read the report.
Sen. Tom Carper, D-De., a member of Homeland Security who recently led a delegation to Central America, declined to comment on family separation but spoke of the need to address the root causes of migration.
But moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., said he doesn’t oppose bringing the controversial policy back.
“Whatever it takes to secure the border. The border is a mess – it’s a disaster. So I support whatever we can to take control of this border and secure it,” he told reporters.
Arizona Democrat Assemblyman Raul Grivalja called the incarceration of families a “failed policy” that is “callous and inhumane.”
“Family detention serves two purposes: to line the pockets of private prison companies and to act as a useless deterrent to prevent migrants from claiming their legal right to asylum,” he said.
Cesar Galeano, a Venezuelan migrant, is pictured crossing the Paso del Norte international bridge into Mexico after failing to obtain asylum in the United States on February 3
A caravan of migrants is pictured March 4 in the city of Tapachula, Mexico, as they prepared to enter the United States
Newly elected progressive Texas Rep. Greg Casar tweeted: “Caging immigrant families and children along the border is dangerous, ineffective and wrong.”
It would be just the president’s latest crackdown on illegal immigration as the number of migrants crossing the southern border hits historic levels.
He is now being sued over a proposed rule that would make migrants ineligible for asylum in the US unless they first seek asylum in a country they transited through.
And critics say the president could lose even more favor among Democrats if he approves a new family detention policy ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
Biden campaigned against his predecessor’s incarceration of family members, which was also used under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, for whom Biden served as vice president.
He even tweeted in June 2020, when a federal judge ordered the release of migrant children from detention centers due to the global pandemic: “Children should be released from ICE detention immediately with their parents.
“It’s pretty simple, and I can’t believe I have to say it: families belong together.”
Almost immediately after taking office, he closed all family prisons in the United States to promote a more humane approach to immigration.
Instead, the Biden administration instituted a practice of temporarily allowing families into the country and using anklets, traceable cellphones, and other methods to keep tabs on them.
But now, since Biden took office, the US-Mexico border has faced record-breaking border crossings that don’t slow down with each passing month.
White House officials are reportedly present point with the finger to Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice for leading the prosecution to revive the policy.
In 2021, 1.7 million immigrants came to the United States. In 2022, that number rose to more than 2 million.
The number of migrants caught illegally crossing the southern border has reportedly hit one million in less than four months into the fiscal year. And with the end of Title 42 in sight, federal officials fear the situation could only get worse.
Department of Homeland Security officials are reportedly already outlining what would need to be done to resume detention of families by May 11, the date Title 42 expires.
Under the proposal, current and former officials said, the Biden administration would follow legislation that sets a 20-day limit on detaining families, rather than holding them for weeks or months like its predecessor.
But the Biden administration would face a number of logistical obstacles if it reinstated the family detention program, the Times reports.
One of those problems is finding spaces for families with educational programs and playgrounds, as the former detention centers are now used for single adults.
And the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees the detention centers, is already running a budget deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The plan also assumes that the government would be able to rapidly screen families for asylum and either accept or deport them within 20 days when the average stay in an ICE prison is 37 days.
In addition, three of the officials, who spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity, expressed concerns that family detention would encourage parents to send their children across the border alone rather than risk family detention.
Under current policy, children entering the country without a parent or legal guardian are not deported, but are instead placed in government care and eventually released to live with a family member or other sponsor.
Critics say enabling families to send their children to the US without them is de facto family separation, a controversial measure by the Trump administration that separated 5,500 children from their parents on the southern border.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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