Reuters reports this morning that the Trump administration is making plans to separate women and children who cross the border without a visa, inflicting long-term psychological harm in order to make America more white.
According to unnamed federal officials, an unambiguous goal of the proposed order is “to deter mothers from migrating to the United States with their children.”
In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security argues they want to “discourage those [with children] from even beginning the journey” out of concern for the safety and welfare of their offspring.
The policy shift would allow the government to keep parents in custody while they contest deportation or wait for asylum hearings. Children would be put into protective custody with the Department of Health and Human Services, in the “least restrictive setting” until they can be taken into the care of a U.S. relative or state-sponsored guardian.
Currently, families contesting deportation or applying for asylum are generally released from detention quickly and allowed to remain in the United States until their cases are resolved. A federal appeals court ruling bars prolonged child detention.
It is the latest example of the Trump administration taking measures to criminalize immigrant parenthood and break up immigrant families — a key goal of the white nationalists and anti-immigrant hate groups that supported Donald Trump’s candidacy, and which “inform” his executive orders while in office.
Such measures show the influence of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his former aide Stephen Miller, who have long histories of flirting with extremist organizations. One of them is the Center for Immigration Studies, which sounds innocuous enough but in fact has deep ties to the worst kinds of racist, nativist, Holocaust-denying hate groups.
In the eyes of CIS, undocumented immigrants separated from their families are merely “facing consequences for their choices,” according to one spokesperson who spoke to the Houston Chronicle.
She was referring to Jose Escobar, a legal immigrant and 31-year old father of two who was deported this week over a years-old paperwork snafu on the part of his mother. “I’m begging President Donald Trump to look into my case and see if my husband is really destroying America,” his wife Rose said at a press conference.
According to CIS and Jeff Sessions and Stephen Miller, the answer is yes. They are terrified of demographic trends making America less white, and by extension, less Republican. They will do whatever it takes to make the country less brown and black. Compared to that ignoble cause, what is the value of a few hundred thousand families?