Pete's Prep: Monday, June 18, 2018

posted by Pete Kaliner - 

Outrage over children at the border 

This weekend was one of the dumbest weekends on Twitter.

The stupidity is rooted in emotionalism as a vehicle for political gains.

Leftists attacked Republicans all over social media if they dared post a Father's Day picture.

This one from musician John Legend is pretty typical in it's hysteria and vulgarity:

Rich Lowery at National Review has a very good overview of what's going on:

The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.

It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)

When a migrant is prosecuted for illegal entry, he or she is taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals. In no circumstance anywhere in the U.S. do the marshals care for the children of people they take into custody. The child is taken into the custody of HHS, who cares for them at temporary shelters.

The criminal proceedings are exceptionally short, assuming there is no aggravating factor such as a prior illegal entity or another crime. The migrants generally plead guilty, and they are then sentenced to time served, typically all in the same day, although practices vary along the border. After this, they are returned to the custody of ICE.

If the adult then wants to go home, in keeping with the expedited order of removal that is issued as a matter of course, it’s relatively simple. The adult should be reunited quickly with his or her child, and the family returned home as a unit. In this scenario, there’s only a very brief separation.

Where it becomes much more of an issue is if the adult files an asylum claim. In that scenario, the adults are almost certainly going to be detained longer than the government is allowed to hold their children.

Special Assistant to the President & Deputy Press Secretary, Hogan Gidley, said over the weekend: "There are only one of two things that can happen when they come here: you have to either release them into the interior of the United States as a family unit, or you have to separate the families. That’s what the law says."

Sen. Ben Sasse posted on Facebook:

2) This bad new policy is a reaction against a bad old policy. The old policy was “catch-and-release.” Under catch-and-release, if someone made it to the border and claimed asylum (whether true or not, and most of the time it wasn’t true), they were released into the U.S. until a future hearing date. Many folks obviously don’t show up at these hearings, so this became a new pathway into the U.S.

3) Catch-and-release – combined with inefficient deportation and other ineffective policies – created a magnet whereby lots of people came to the border who were not actually asylum-seekers. This magnet not only attracted illegal immigrants generally, but also produced an uptick in human trafficking across our border. (We now also have some limited evidence of jihadi recruiters spreading word about how to exploit the southwestern border.)

4) Human trafficking organizations are not just evil; they’re also often smart. Many quickly learned the “magic words” they needed to say under catch-and-release to guarantee admission into the U.S. Because of this, some of the folks showing up at the border claiming to be families are not actually families. Some are a trafficker with one or more trafficked children. Sometimes border agents can identify this, but many times they aren’t sure.

5) Any policy that incentivizes illegal immigration is terrible governance. But even more troubling is that catch-and-release rewarded traffickers, who knew they could easily get their victims to market in the U.S.

6) This foolish catch-and-release policy had to be changed. But changing from catch-and-release does not require adopting the wicked family separation policy. The choice before the American people does not have to be “wicked versus foolish.”

7) The administration’s decision to separate families is a new, discretionary choice. Anyone saying that their hands are tied or that the only conceivable way to fix the problem of catch-and-release is to rip families apart is flat wrong. There are other options available to them. The other options are all messy (given that some overly prescriptive judges have limited their administrative options), but there are ways to address this that are less bad than the policy of family separation they’ve chosen.

8) There are many senior folks in the administration who hate this policy, and who want to do something better.

9) But some in the administration have decided that this cruel policy increases their legislative leverage. This is wrong. Americans do not take children hostage, period.

So what happens next? Obviously the Congress is broken and clearly bears much of the blame for a broken immigration system. We have many different problems clustered together: The border is too porous. Our asylum and refugee polices are too subject to executive branch whim, rather than clear legislative debate before the American people. We don’t have any coherent policy for dealing with kids who were brought here as minors but who have never known any home but the U.S. And more broadly, we have no long-term agreement about what levels of legal immigration we should want, or what kinds of workers we should prioritize. The Congress clearly bears much of the blame.

But neither the horrors of family separation nor the stupidity of catch-and-release should be about leverage for a broader debate. We should start by tackling the specific problem before us in the narrowest way possible.

The President should immediately end this family separation policy. And he should announce to the Congress the narrowest possible way problems like the FIores consent decree and related decisions (which bias policy toward release into the U.S. within three weeks after capture) can be resolved.

I am also working on a possible solution with James Lankford of Oklahoma, a man of integrity who has been pouring great energy into addressing this human tragedy at the border.

The policy of allowing unauthorized immigrants to walk free if they simply brought a kid with them encouraged more adults to bring kids.

This should be obvious.

It also meant adults had an incentive to bring kids who are not their own - because it increased the odds they'd be caught and released.

This is human trafficking and it's a perverse incentive of the current system.

But the optics of kids being separated from adults stirs emotion - as this weekend proved.

And that's why these children will continue to be used as political pawns.

As proof - you don't see the same national outrage over stories like this:



Former Western Carolina Chancellor dies

Sad news from Western, via the Citizen-Times:

David O. Belcher, the former chancellor of Western Carolina University, died Sunday after a two-year battle with cancer, the university announced.

Belcher, WCU’s chancellor since 2011, had been on medical leave since Dec. 31.

He underwent surgery to remove a glioblastoma brain tumor in May 2016, followed by an 11-month treatment plan that initially seemed successful. But in early August 2017, he informed the WCU campus that he had experienced a recurrence of the cancer and, in late November 2017, announced his plan to go on medical leave at the end of the calendar year with no plans to return to his position.



Supreme Court punts on political gerrymandering

No guidance from the Supremes on a series of lawsuits aimed at helping Democrats win back state legislatures and Congressional seats.



But, wait - there's more!

Harvard rejects Asian applicants in order to limit their population on campus.

Wisconsin Democrat admits his party is "pickled in identity politics."

The problems at the FBI and the DOJ are serious.

FBI agent Peter Strzok wants to "clear his name."

Democrat believes Trump's election was like 9/11.

Video game addiction will be classified as a disease by the WHO.

Washington, D.C. looks to raise the minimum wage of restaurant servers, which will likely eliminate tipping.

The guy who almost killed Sen. Rand Paul is sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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