Aug 27, 2018
In an experimental follow-up episode, listen along with Jen and Joe to the highlights of a Senate hearing examining the progress that has been made towards caring for the immigrant children who have been either taken from their immigrant parents or who arrived in the U.S. alone.
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Article: Tom Carper's 40-year record of defending banks is being challenged by Kerri Harris in a Democratic primary by David Dayen, The Intercept, August 22, 2018.
Report: More than 500 children are still separated. Here's what comes next. by Amrit Cheng, ACLU, August 21, 2018.
Staff Report: Oversight of the care of unaccompanied alien children by Rob Portman and Tom Carper, Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, August 15, 2018.
Article: 'I want to die': Was a 5-year-old drugged after being separated from his dad at the border? by Michael E. Miller, The Washington Post, August 9, 2018.
Report: Trump administration must stop giving psychotropic drugs to migrant children without consent, judge rules by Samantha Schmidt, The Washington Post, July 31, 2018.
Report: Grassley, Feinstein seek investigation into alleged abuse at immigrant detention facilities, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, July 30, 2018.
Article: Investigation sought into sexual abuse allegations at Texas immigrant detention center by Dianne Solis and James Barragan, Dallas News, June 25, 2018.
Report: Police reports tell of sexual abuse, harassment at Arizona facilities for migrant children by Agnel Philip, AZCentral, July 25, 2018.
Article: Sexual assault inside ICE detention: 2 survivors tell their stories by Emily Kassie, The New York Times, July 17, 2018.
Article: Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse by Michael Biesecker, Jake Pearson, and Garance Burke, USA Today, June 21, 2018.
Article: Alliance for prosperity plan: Hope for curbing Northern Triangle emigration? by Kausha Luna, Center for Immigration Studies, June 21, 2017.
Article: US coaxes Mexico into Trump plan to overhaul Central America, CNBC, May 4, 2017.
Article: The alliance for prosperity will intensify the Central American refugee crisis by Dawn Paley, The Nation, December 21, 2016.
Report: CBP appointes two new officers to senior leadership by Alex Murtha, Homeland Preparedeness News, September 23, 2016.
Article: The Alliance for Prosperity Plan: A failed effort for stemming migration by Laura Iesue, COHA, August 1, 2016.
Court Settlement Agreement: Jenny Lisette Flores v. Janet Reno, August 15, 2018.
Organization Overview: IADB.org
White House Fact Sheet: Support for the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle, March 3, 2015.
Alex Azar - Health and Human Services Secretary
27:50 Senator Ron Wyden (OR): How many kids who were in your custody because of the zero-tolerance policy have been reunified with a parent or a relative? Alex Azar: So, I believe we have had a high of over 2,300 children that were separated from their parents as a result of the enforcement policy. We now have 2,047.
Thomas Homan - Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
41:33 Thomas Homan: They’re separating families for two reasons. Number one, they can’t prove the relationship—and we’ve had many cases where children had been trafficked by people that weren’t their parents, and we’re concerned about the child. The other issues are when they’re prosecuted, then they’re separated.
37:40 Representative Filemon Vela (TX): So, with this new policy in place, at the point that you’re in a situation where you decide to separate the families, where do the minors go? Vitiello: The decision is to prosecute 100%. If that happens to be a family member, then HHS would then take care of the minor as an unaccompanied child.
39:58 Thomas Homan: As far as the question on HHS, under the Homeland Security Act 2002, we’re required, both the Border Patrol and ICE, to release unaccompanied children to HHS within 72 hours. So, we simply—once they identify within that 72 hours a bed someplace in the country, our job is to get that child to that bed. Then HHS, their responsibility is to reunite that child sometime with a parent and make sure that child gets released to a sponsor that’s being vetted.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions Today we are here to send a message to the world: we are not going to let this country be overwhelmed. People are not going to caravan or otherwise stampede our border. We need legality and integrity in the system. That’s why the Department of Homeland Security is now referring 100 percent of illegal Southwest Border crossings to the Department of Justice for prosecution. And the Department of Justice will take up those cases. I have put in place a “zero tolerance” policy for illegal entry on our Southwest border. If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple.
Kathryn Larin - Director for Education, Workforce, and Income Security Team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office
45:05 Kathryn Larin: In 2015, we reported that the interagency process to refer unaccompanied children from DHS to ORR shelters was inefficient and vulnerable to error. We recommended that DHS and HHS develop a joint collaborative process for the referral and placement of unaccompanied children. In response, the agencies recently developed a memorandum of agreement that provides a framework for coordinating responsibilities. However, it is still under review and has not yet been implemented.
1:51:28 Sen. Portman: Mr. Wagner, give me a timeframe. Wagner: Sir, we have to incorporate the new MOA in the draft JCO. Honestly, we are months away, but I promise to work diligently to bring it to a conclusion.
1:57:15 Senator Rob Portman (OH): Okay, we learned this morning that about half, maybe up to 58%, of these kids who are being placed with sponsors don’t show up at the immigration hearings. I mean, they just aren’t showing up. So when a sponsor signs the sponsorship agreement, my understanding is they commit to getting these children to their court proceedings. Is that accurate, Mr. Wagner? Steven Wagner: That is accurate. And in addition, they go through the orientation on responsibilities of custodians. Sen. Portman: So, when a child does not show up, HHS has an agreement with the sponsor that has been violated, and HHS, my understanding, is not even notified if the child fails to show up to the proceedings. Is that accurate? Wagner: That is accurate, Senator. Sen. Portman: So you have an agreement with the sponsor. They have to provide this agreement with you, HHS. The child doesn’t show up, and you’re not even notified. So I would ask you, how could you possibly enforce the commitment that you have, the agreement that you have, with the sponsor if you don’t have that information? Wagner: I think you’re right. We have no mechanism for enforcing the agreement if they fail to show up for the hearing.
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