From The Hill
House Democrats are amplifying their calls for the Obama administration to ease its detention policies for illegal immigrant families at the southern border.
The lawmakers, newly returned from a visit to a pair of detention facilities in Texas, said the "jail-like" conditions pose psychological and other health risks for the thousands of women and children being held for processing, many of whom arrived during last summer's migrant surge.
They're pushing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to close the facilities and release the families into less restrictive settings while their cases proceed.
|Judicial Watch digs deeper into the latest move by the Dems on Immigration - (PIC)|
"Let me just make clear: Our goal is to shut the facilities down," said Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). "These kids, they shouldn't be in there. ... There is damage being caused to these kids that they're going to have to live with for the rest of their lives."
Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the Democratic whip, said he found the conditions "troubling" for the sheer number of young kids being held. He suggested the facilities be transformed into temporary holding stations where families remain for only "a few days" before being released while their asylum claims are heard.
"There's a difference between using beds while [the courts] are making a determination ... and treating them as a locked facility, where they are now, treated as criminals," Hoyer said. "We are urging ... that these facilities, for the purpose they're being used, be closed."
The two lawmakers were part of an eight-member group of Democrats who traveled this week to the Karnes County Residential Center, a 532-capacity facility in Karnes City, Texas, and the South Texas Family Residential Center, a 2,400-capacity facility in Dilley.Judicial Watch also mentions:
Of interesting note is that Johnson failed to mention the driving force behind his agency’s new policy. His name is Luis Zayas and he is the dean of Social Work at the University of Texas, Austin. In late May a group of pro-illegal alien members of congress, led by amnesty champion Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, wrote Johnson a letter demanding an end to the use of family detention for illegal immigrants. “It is undeniable that detention in a secure facility is detrimental to mothers and children and is not reflective of our values as a nation,” the letter states. “Children require special protections and should not be placed in jail-like settings.”The Hill Continues:
To back the claim, the lawmakers cite an affidavit written by Zayas, who asserts that children of undocumented or illegal immigrants are often the unintended victims of deportation policies. The professor has examined the effects of deportation on the psychosocial functioning of U.S.-born children of illegal alien Mexicans, according to his university biography, and often testifies in immigration courts on behalf of children and their families. “Presently, Zayas is focusing on the plight of citizen-children whose parents are being deported,” the public university biography states.
This background information is important because Zayas is the expert cited in the persuading letter Congress fired off to Johnson. Zayas determined that the detained illegal immigrant children are “facing some of the most adverse childhood conditions of any children I have ever interviewed or evaluated.” The professor further concluded that “detention has had serious and long-lasting impacts on the psychological health and well-being” of families at one center and that these impacts were evident in families who were detained for as little as two weeks. Days later the agency created after 9/11 to protect the nation from another terrorist attack, actually caved into this absurd assessment.
As of this week, there were 461 people in the Karnes center and 2,043 in the South Texas facility, according to a DHS spokesperson. A third center, in Berks County, Pa., currently houses an additional 89 people.
The centers have been under a spotlight since last year, when tens-of-thousands of families and unaccompanied children crossed the southern border –– most of them into Texas's Rio Grande Valley –– marking a huge increase over past years. The flood quickly swamped the border authorities who scrambled for ways to detain, process and, in many cases, deport the kids back to their homes.
The crisis sparked a decidedly partisan fight on Capitol Hill over both the cause of, and the appropriate response to, the migrant surge.
Johnson on Wednesday said DHS, after evaluating the family detention system, recognizes the need to make "substantial changes" to better the conditions for the detained women and children.
With guidance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña, he announced a series of reforms the agency will undertake, including allowing the release of families "who are successful in stating a case of credible or reasonable fear of persecution in their home countries" and an effort to lower bond requirements to "reasonable and realistic" levels.The Democrats have ALWAYS lied about immigration:
"In short, once a family has established eligibility for asylum or other relief under our laws, long-term detention is an inefficient use of our resources and should be discontinued," Johnson said in a statement.
Barack Obama's self-admitted illegal executive action on immigration is celebrated by the leftist totalitarian freaks.
Stringing along the illegal immigrant 'hispanics' who DEMAND citizenship is Obama's specialty.
What is the end game of the Democrats and their open-border welfare state besides maintaining power?