By Eunice Lee, ACLU Blog of Rights
September 26, 2014
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to claim both the incredible and the disgraceful: that Central American mothers and children fleeing danger pose a "national security" threat to the United States and must be locked away.
Relying on a decade-old decision of former Attorney General John Ashcroft called "Matter of D-J-," DHS says immigrant families seeking asylum must be imprisoned and denied bond to send a "deterrent" message to others. But the agency isn't content with hiding behind that Bush-era decision: It wants scientific backing, too.
Citing a report out of Vanderbilt University, DHS claims its policy of detaining immigrant families as "deterrence" is supported empirically by painstaking research. The study, according to DHS's reading, demonstrates that if released, women and their young children would supposedly become part of an "active migration network," encouraging others to flood across the Southwest border.
But guess what? The report's own authors vehemently disagree.[...]
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