Sunday, April 29, 2018

Why Does DHS Want to Prosecute Asylum Seekers With Kids?

The Department of Homeland Security has now made it clear that its policy really is to separate parents from their children when they enter the U.S. to seek asylum. The policy will be implemented by prosecuting the parents if they attempt to cross the border anywhere except at a legal port of entry. This comes as a caravan of asylum seekers, mostly from Central America, prepare to cross the border into California today. The Trump administration has hyped the planned entry—by some 100 people, mostly women and children—as some sort of foreign invasion.

The plan to prosecute people for illegal entry, a misdemeanor, comes right after Huffington Post’s Roque Planas published an article about the way these prosecutions take resources away from the prosecution of far more serious federal crimes. The crimes that will get less attention include bank fraud, gun smuggling, money laundering—crimes that benefit people like bankers, arms manufacturers, and real estate moguls who sell to money launderers…. –TPOI editor

The invading caravan in Tijuana. Photo: Ariana Drehsler/BuzzFeed News
Top Homeland Security officials urge criminal prosecution of parents crossing border with children

By Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post
April 26, 2018
The nation’s top immigration and border officials are urging Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to detain and prosecute all parents caught crossing the Mexican border illegally with their children, a stark change in policy that would result in the separation of families that until now have mostly been kept together.

If approved, the zero-tolerance measure could split up thousands of families, although officials say they would not prosecute those who turn themselves in at legal ports of entry and claim asylum. More than 20,000 of the 30,000 migrants who sought asylum during the first quarter — the period from October-December — of the current fiscal year crossed the border illegally.[…]

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At the U.S. border, a diminished migrant caravan readies for an unwelcoming reception

By Nick Miroff, Washington Post
April 27, 2018
TIJUANA, Mexico — The American president, a former real estate mogul, does not want Byron Garcia in the United States. But the Honduran teenager was too busy building his own hotel empire this week to worry much about that.

Vermont Avenue and Connecticut Avenue were his. Now he was looking to move up-market.[…]

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Jeff Sessions Wants to Make the Justice Department More Like ICE
But the attorney general’s plans come at a cost.

By Roque Planas, HuffPost
April 26, 2018
When Tim Purdon became U.S. attorney for North Dakota in 2010, he had a priority: improving public safety on the state’s four Indian reservations. Prosecuting violent crimes on Indian reservations falls to the Justice Department, and Purdon himself had worked similar cases as a public defender before taking on the U.S. attorney job.

But when Purdon took office, he found that more than a third of his criminal caseload consisted of immigration prosecutions, even though North Dakota lies more than 1,000 miles from the border with Mexico. Despite the state’s proximity to Canada, the defendants were by and large Latin Americans who’d been caught in the U.S. after getting deported. The cases were easy to win. All prosecutors needed was to present paperwork proving the prior deportation. But the cases sapped time away from Purdon’s prosecutors, whom he’d have rather tasked with crimes on the reservations or white-collar cases.[…]

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