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Family Separation: It’s a Problem for U.S. Citizens, Too (www.nytimes.com)

 

Excerpts from article written by Shaila Dewan

In May, when the outrage over the separation of migrant children from their parents was beginning to boil, President Trump’s secretary for Homeland Security shrugged off accusations that it was a “form of state terror.” After all, she said, “We do it every day in every part of the country.”

On this point, the secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, is right. Family separation is a fact of life here, happening hundreds — if not thousands — of times a day. “In the United States,” she said, “we call that law enforcement.”

Advocates for criminal justice reform have argued that Americans appalled at the treatment of immigrant families at the border should realize that prosecutors and the police routinely separate children from their parents. It happens when parents or children are arrested, it happens when incarcerated women give birth — it can even be triggered when a pregnant woman fails a mandatory drug test, or when a child skips school. It comes with no warning, sometimes in the middle of the night.

“I see all these progressive mayors and governors getting up and grandstanding about how awful it is,” said David Menschel, a criminal defense lawyer in Portland, Ore., of the impassioned response to the Trump administration’s practices. “Well, if it’s so awful, why are we doing it so much?”

To read the rest of this article in the New York Times by Shaila Dewan, go here

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