6 votes

Op-ed by Jeff Sessions: "We don't want to separate parents from kids"

16 comments

  1. [3]
    nacho
    Link
    I don't understand what he's trying to accomplish by the letter: To opponents of the policy, that letter just seems tone deaf; it doesn't address any of the most important criticisms from people...

    I don't understand what he's trying to accomplish by the letter:

    To opponents of the policy, that letter just seems tone deaf; it doesn't address any of the most important criticisms from people who think this policy is bad.

    To supporters of the policy, there's nothing new here, except repeated, unsubstantiated claims that this policy makes sense. Why not give the supporters the underpinning leglisation/policy for why this makes sense?

    For people who haven't made up their minds, this letter is surely much less engaging than the very emotive reactions and responses from either side of the discussion. The debate isn't just about the kids, but about US stance towards immigration in general.


    So why is Sessions writing this, and why is he writing it in this way?

    Is he being instructed to write this, or does he really not have better arguments to back up the policy and feels anything is better than nothing?

    I don't get it.

    10 votes
    1. guamisc
      Link Parent
      Gaslighting, pure and simple. It's all lies. Why this, and why in this way? To give face-saving cover to people who reprehensible views and actions.

      Gaslighting, pure and simple. It's all lies.

      Why this, and why in this way? To give face-saving cover to people who reprehensible views and actions.

      9 votes
    2. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Either he was told to do this, or he's doing this to create positive media for his side. The intended audience is not the side that disagrees, the intended audience is the side that either already...

      So why is Sessions writing this, and why is he writing it in this way?

      Either he was told to do this, or he's doing this to create positive media for his side. The intended audience is not the side that disagrees, the intended audience is the side that either already agrees or is undecided. Create some positive media so that you can claim you made positive media, and then parrot it on Fox or whatever other outlet you have. It's been a fairly common tactic as of late.

      7 votes
  2. fkr637
    (edited )
    Link
    There’s a larger issue at stake that the border policies are only a small part of. There are those who want to help and welcome immigrants (legal or illegal) despite what the cost may be in terms...

    There’s a larger issue at stake that the border policies are only a small part of.

    There are those who want to help and welcome immigrants (legal or illegal) despite what the cost may be in terms of the negative effects. And there are those who want to keep immigrants out of our country.

    The policies are almost peripheral to the discussion about whether to welcome and help immigrants or keep them out.

    EDIT: Adding some thoughts.

    The logistics are beyond me but I think a solution to this problem would look more like developing a more comprehensive, competent, and HELPFUL immigration system. It doesn't have to be a choice between punishing people for trying to enter our country and letting them in at all costs.

    5 votes
  3. [5]
    easymac
    Link
    There's a certain irony in Trump's stated regret for picking Jeff Sessions as his AG. Jeff Sessions is perhaps the cabinet member with views on immigration most aligned with Trump's own. They're...

    There's a certain irony in Trump's stated regret for picking Jeff Sessions as his AG.

    Jeff Sessions is perhaps the cabinet member with views on immigration most aligned with Trump's own.

    They're both shockingly scummy: they create a humanitarian crisis to try to force Congress to pay $25BN for the wall. Then, they say, they will stop creating the humanitarian crisis.

    It seems to me that Trump is trying to negotiate with Republican members of Congress. A government shutdown in September and overseeing abject cruelty aren't things that would harm the minority party.

    Ted fucking Cruz is going to introduce legislation to end the practice because he knows Beto O'rourke is gunning for his senate seat and has already begun successfully campaigning on this issue.

    Perhaps he's telling Republicans that if they want to have a chance in the midterms, they must provide full funding for the wall--or at least come up substantially from the $1.5BN they're currently agreeing on.

    The problem, I hope, is that there will be zero Democrats willing to capitulate and vote yes on any funding bill until the practice of separating young children from their parents (who are legally seeking asylum) is permanently ended.

    But I'm not optimistic as far as that's concerned: Democrats haven't shown much spine during Trump's tenure. The GOP only needs nine Democrats.

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      arghdos
      Link Parent
      What about when not a single democrat in the Senate voted for any healthcare repeal bill? Or for the tax bill?

      Democrats haven't shown much spine during Trump's tenure. The GOP only needs nine Democrats.

      What about when not a single democrat in the Senate voted for any healthcare repeal bill? Or for the tax bill?

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        easymac
        Link Parent
        I was thinking more of the last battle over immigration ethics where the Democrats decided to shut down the government over DACA. Then, not two days later, they admitted defeat and capitulated...

        I was thinking more of the last battle over immigration ethics where the Democrats decided to shut down the government over DACA.

        Then, not two days later, they admitted defeat and capitulated without getting anything at all in return.

        The next week they did the exact same thing: shut down the government on February 9th and capitulated nine hours later without receiving anything at all in return.

        That made it quite clear to me that immigration isn't an issue Democrats are willing to face political pressure over--perhaps because they believe it's a losing fight?

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          CALICO
          Link Parent
          It could have been strategic. Multiple shutdowns within a year with a Republican majority, and potential shutdown in September right before midterms. As the minority party they can only do so...

          It could have been strategic. Multiple shutdowns within a year with a Republican majority, and potential shutdown in September right before midterms.

          As the minority party they can only do so much, and the GOP shuts the Democrats out of discussions entirely which isn't an atmosphere for compromise and collaboration.

          2 votes
          1. easymac
            Link Parent
            If it was strategic, I can't imagine it being good strategy. Polling at the time showed that people both felt that the shutdown was unnecessary and that Congressional Democrats and Trump, not...

            If it was strategic, I can't imagine it being good strategy. Polling at the time showed that people both felt that the shutdown was unnecessary and that Congressional Democrats and Trump, not Congressional Republicans, were responsible.

            https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna840246

            https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/24/government-shutdown-2018-poll-365467

            I recognize that this data isn't particularly meaningful ten months later in the midterms, but neither will be the shutdowns--which is a further argument that it was bad strategy.

  4. [7]
    Mumberthrax
    Link
    He doesn't phrase it in the most eloquent manner, but it does make sense. The way it looks, there are two choices: 1) clinton-era policies that trump and sessions are now enforcing which end up...

    He doesn't phrase it in the most eloquent manner, but it does make sense. The way it looks, there are two choices: 1) clinton-era policies that trump and sessions are now enforcing which end up temporarily separating children and their parents (which nobody wants to do), and 2) incentivizing child-trafficking.

    I don't want to separate parents and kids, and I really don't want more child-trafficking. :/

    1. [6]
      fkr637
      Link Parent
      Would you be in favor of a more robust immigration system that made it easier for people to come into the United States legally? I don't mean a more lenient system. Just one that is more efficient...

      Would you be in favor of a more robust immigration system that made it easier for people to come into the United States legally? I don't mean a more lenient system. Just one that is more efficient and effective at allowing people into our country who want to be here.

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        Mumberthrax
        Link Parent
        I think that's a modest amount of vagueness. Robust, efficient, effective all sound like good adjectives, while lenient and easy are less appealing - but what do they mean?

        I think that's a modest amount of vagueness. Robust, efficient, effective all sound like good adjectives, while lenient and easy are less appealing - but what do they mean?

        1 vote
        1. [4]
          fkr637
          Link Parent
          Im trying to find out where you stand on the issue instead of just what your thoughts are on Sessions’ op-ed. I’m asking if you’d be in favor of a third option, rather than choosing between...

          Im trying to find out where you stand on the issue instead of just what your thoughts are on Sessions’ op-ed. I’m asking if you’d be in favor of a third option, rather than choosing between separating families and human trafficking. Would you be in favor of a policy that allowed more immigrants into the country if we could still ensure national security?

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            Mumberthrax
            Link Parent
            I guess I'm still not understanding entirely. There are two systems that are set up to handle the two different kinds of immigration. There's the system that is set up to process legal...

            I guess I'm still not understanding entirely. There are two systems that are set up to handle the two different kinds of immigration. There's the system that is set up to process legal immigration, and there's the system set up to handle people who are caught entering the country illegally.

            The problem most people have been upset about is the system for handling illegal immigrants, which separates children and adults in an attempt to ensure the safety of the children since we can't easily know if the people they're with are actually their parents or not. Previously, if you came into the country illegally with a kid, you got a free pass - which incentivized bad people to use kids who weren't their own to get into the country.

            Your questions seem to be about the system for processing legal immigration. I think that system could use serious improvement, and I think it does need to serve as a filter on who can and can't enter the country.

            If I am understanding where you're coming from, the hypothesis is that if we make legal immigration easier, then fewer people will be incentivized to try to enter the country illegally - which may be true. But it still has to serve as a filter, and if it is more difficult than hopping a fence, people will hop the fence - we know because they do. I suspect that improving the system for legal immigration will also not have any substantial effect on the criminals like MS-13/human-traffickers who would not use that system at all and would continue entering the country illegally.

            The immigration system is not intended for national security alone - it is not just for stopping terrorists and violent gang members like MS-13. It is part of the very system of having a sovereign nation state, rather than no state at all. As much as I would love to share what prosperity we have here with everyone on the planet, it would not be a functioning system to get rid of all filtering except those which catch criminals.

            In any case, the President has signed an executive order since we began this conversation which says that illegal immigrant families will no longer be separated under his administration. I don't know the details, but I hope that this does not continue to incentivize child traffickers. :/

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              fkr637
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              You answered my question. Sorry for being vague. I was trying to stay at a high level rather than getting in the weeds on a particularity. Internet conversations are hard, especially in comment...

              You answered my question. Sorry for being vague. I was trying to stay at a high level rather than getting in the weeds on a particularity. Internet conversations are hard, especially in comment sections.

              I guess what I'm trying to say is that I agree we need a better legal immigration system. And I'm trying to give immigrants the benefit of the doubt. I don't think people are hopping fences just because it's easier than going through the legal process. I think they are trying to escape dire situations at any cost. And rather than debate about whether we should split up families or enable human trafficking, maybe we can talk about what a system would look like that truly represented a haven and aid to immigrants who are hoping our country can offer them something better than what they're running from.

              I think immigrants are being vilified by the current administration and that's why the conversation has been binary. Even the ones we can almost be sure are coming to our country for help are portrayed as cheaters and crisis actors. I would like to see the current administration talk some real talk about how to help immigrants rather than treating the whole thing like a big problem that's inconveniencing or preying on America.

              What if, for instance, we put $1.5 billion toward refining the immigration system instead of a wall?

              1 vote
              1. Mumberthrax
                Link Parent
                It definitely is tragic that we have prosperity while other people have cartels and poverty. I know that some people see my country as a place where they and their children can have a better life,...

                It definitely is tragic that we have prosperity while other people have cartels and poverty. I know that some people see my country as a place where they and their children can have a better life, and that they are desperate for that. And there are people who take for granted what is available in the USA, who treat us with disrespect (I've seen plenty of "Make America Mexico Again" banners). I've gone to school with people who spit on my country's flag while flouting the fact that they're here illegally studying in a taxpayer funded college, paying far less than I did to be there - while my neighbor immigrated legally and loves the USA for what it is.

                To me, it feels like the kids in cages situation is a sort of microcosm of the bigger situation; you have a complex situation where people from countries where the cartels probably keep better records than the governments are coming in with no id, no documentation, some of them with children - and a portion of these people are very likely criminals like MS-13 and worse. Do we separate the kids from the adults until we can figure out what is going on, or do we keep the kids with the adults and open them up to potential harm? The President heard the outcry, even had celebrities saying they wished Trump's children or grandchildren were put into prison with pedophiles, and signed an EO saying we won't separate the kids from the adults... so now what happens? How is this situation that people have been demanding of the president going to keep the kids safe from bad people?

                The wall is similar. I see having the wall as reducing the number of kids who don't have to be put into cages by at least half. It's a tangible thing that will have immediate results upon construction, and it can't be easily reversed by future administrations.

                So what sort of refinement would you like to see? If it can be more effective than actually securing the border, then I'd be interested. It's a complex situation though, and while the options for handling adults with kids seems to me like a binary set of options, the variables going into the whole thing are certainly not binary.

                Nobody likes to separate parents from their kids. Nobody wants this. and nobody wants to put kids at risk of abuse in what is effectively a prison for people who have broken the law by entering the country illegally. What might alleviate that situation is like, maybe some sort of telepresence robot with an ipad on it, so parents could see the kids are okay and the kids can know their parents are able to see them. Things like that which might alleviate some of the stress. Maybe some company can be contracted to perform dna testing, just rough guessing but I'd figure those take maybe 48 hours to process. That won't solve the situation entirely, but it might mitigate the duration of separation. If money can go into those sorts of things, even if the wall has to take a little bit of a hit, I'd be all for it.