Congress Must Stop DHS and ICE Abuses


Congress has returned from recess and will be considering the funding of DHS and ICE. Both agencies have long histories of deliberately using cruel and inhumane treatment in defiance of applicable law. The list of abuses is far too long to enumerate, but includes:

Detention of asylum seekers, separation of children and infants from families with no plan, intention or system for reuniting families, thereby creating severe and likely permanent psychological damage to children on a massive scale;

Detention is horrendous conditions with consequent massive adverse consequences to the physical and mental health of both adults and children;

Consistent and repeated lies and misrepresentations concerning the separation of children, including infants, from families and guardians;

Use of trumped up and trivial misdemeanor charges as an excuse to detain individuals and hold them in horrendous conditions and separate them from their children;

The use of violent military force against men, women and children.

President Trump has threatened to continue illegal detentions and the separation of young children from parents and guardians unless and until Congress agrees to fund Trump's wall, all in defiance of court mandated orders. The Trump administration has expressed the intention to hold immigrants in custody for indefinite periods, has conducted court proceedings on an assembly line basis without legal representation, including of infants and has deported parents without uniting them with their children.

The Trump administration has deliberately sent separated children to remote locations without providing information to parents and guardians concerning their whereabouts of their children; The only way to bring this massive pattern of violence and abuse to an end is for Congress to refuse to further fund the activities of DHS and ICE except with the enactment of strict and detailed provisions of law governing all aspects of the conduct of DHS and ICE. Such guardrails should include the imposition of criminal liability for anyone violating any of the provisions governing the conduct of those agencies, up to and including the chief officers of the agencies.

Only then will we finally put an end to the nightmare created by the Trump administration at our borders.

Bruce Menke

Athens

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