The Department of Homeland Security did a terrible job carrying out its zero-tolerance family separation policy earlier this year, according to an unreleased report by the cabinet department’s inspector general, proving that the Trump administration is incompetent even when doing the most evil shit imaginable.
The Washington Post obtained a copy of the report, and it’s even worse than expected. The most egregious violation detailed in the Post report, which in a just world would result in mass firings and resignations and jail time for all of those responsible, is that at least 860 migrant children were left in holding cells longer than 72 hours, the legal limit imposed by the courts. One child was reportedly held in a cell for 25 days.
The CBP’s Texas operations were particularly awful; the Rio Grande Valley sector held at least 564 children over the limit, many of them in “chain-link holding pens,” the Post reports, while the El Paso sector held nearly 300 children over the limit. And as the report indicates, the administration was much less worried about eventually trying to reunite these kids with their families.
The investigators describe a poorly coordinated interagency process that left distraught parents with little or no knowledge of their children’s whereabouts. In other instances, U.S. officials were forced to share minors’ files on Microsoft Word documents sent as email attachments because the government’s internal systems couldn’t communicate.
“Each step of this manual process is vulnerable to human error, increasing the risk that a child could become lost in the system,” the report found.
“Border Patrol does not provide pre-verbal children with wrist bracelets or other means of identification,” the report says, “nor does Border Patrol fingerprint or photograph most children during processing to ensure that they can be easily linked with the proper file.”
The report also found evidence that the DHS straight-up lied about the existence of a “central database” that both that department as well as the Department of Health and Human Services could access to reunite families, which it had touted in a June 23 “fact sheet.”
“The OIG team asked several [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] employees, including those involved with DHS’ reunification efforts at ICE Headquarters, if they knew of such a database, and they did not,” the report states, according to the Post. “DHS has since acknowledged to the OIG that there is no ‘direct electronic interface’ between DHS and HHS tracking systems.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time the DHS has lied about family separation. Remember this?
“The safety and well-being of unaccompanied alien children . . . is our highest responsibility, and we work closely with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement to ensure the timely and secure transfer of all unaccompanied minors in our custody as soon as placement is available from HHS,” the CBP said in a statement responding to the report.
Sure it is.