The attorney general said the Department of Justice is working with the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to “examine the unaccompanied minors issue and the exploitation of this program by the gang members who come to this country as wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
It’s not quite Steve King’s cantaloupe calves territory, but it certainly is inflammatory.
I don’t think we need to go too deep to understand that many of the Central American kids he’s talking about are actually refugees fleeing from their home countries; their parents are trying to get them out of harm’s way from these exact, same gangs. Sending them back is not entirely unlike turning away the SS St. Louis and condemning those Jewish refugees to the tender mercies of the Nazis. These gangs were killing the kids who did not join them. Sending them back is not going to end well.
Here’s the thing Sessions: do your job. If you are saying that you have failed at your job in preventing true criminals from entering the country, then resign.
UPDATE 1: Scissorhead Redhand comments (and it is GREAT):
I happen to be an immigration lawyer who has handled many many cases involving kids like this. I lost count but it has to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 over the last few years. Of all those only one turned out to have a gang affiliation and he voluntarily decided to return to the gang back in Guatemala. Good riddance! In one other case a late teen committed a sex crime against a underage girl. He received a stiff prison sentence and when I learned about it I promptly withdrew. From an immigration standpoint he is toast and will also go back to his home country.
I make these disclosures in a spirit of honesty. Needless to say the overwhelming majority of my juvenile clients from Central America have either been eligible for special immigrant juvenile status because they were abused and neglected or abandoned by one or both parents, or have qualified for asylum based on family persecution in which they were a “particular social group” member or where we were able to show that if they were sent back there was “no safe parent” to take care of them so one could also argue that they were part of a “particular social group.” There are other particular social group theories out there that may work such as kids who are gay, for those who are discriminated against because they are “indigenous,” and “too dark,” because they speak the wrong indigenous language (no kidding) or because they suffer from physical or mental health disabilities that have made them targets for vicious persecution in its own right.
Cases involving unaccompanied minors who have been the victims of brutal gang recruitment and violence have to shoehorn themselves into one of the above two categories, or set forth a difficult alternative claim claim for withholding of removal under the UN Convention against Torture, to which the US is a signatory. There that theory is that they will be victimized by gang torture if they are sent back and this will happen with the “acquiescence and knowledge” of the home country government. That’s a pretty tough standard in and of itself. It’s possible to win such cases, but usually you only prevail where you have clear evidence of other friends or relatives who have been tortured to death by a gang.
In other words, there are ways for these kids to stay in the United States but straight up gang persecution and torture still present formidable evidentiary burdens.
Against this background, Sessions’ obsession with ferreting out “gang members” who may be “taking advantage of” unaccompanied minor and special immigrant juvenile protections is pure racism. The son of a bitch is looking for a problem that doesn’t exist, and if he can’t find sufficient empirical evidence of it he will still dream up a “solution” that really amounts to a death sentence for many minors who should have a fighting chance to stay in the United States. The American Immigration Lawyers Association of which I am a member is active in fighting DOJ when it seeks to institute policies that will deprive legitimate asylum-seekers or special immigrant juveniles of the right to make claims under US law, and I suspect that if this despicable southern racist troll try something new he will be sued here also.
For what it’s worth, I’m one of those northern European Irish American types with skin ridiculously light and white. But my attitude towards my clients is absolutely colorblind. It infuriates me that racial prejudice is practiced at the highest level of our government. Although they will never come out and say it, with Jeff Sessions as Atty. Gen. what more proof does one need? He’s an obscene throwback to the late 19th century and the glorious Southern “lost cause.”
By rights [the son of a bitch — Tengrain was here putting in Redhand’s edit] should be prosecuted for perjury during his confirmation hearing. I would love to see Mueller’s net reach that far. The guy has up to be no business being Atty. Gen. of the United States. None whatsoever.