Every day of the Trump administration has been surreal, and that’s not hyperbole: American democracy is upside-down, everyone appointed by this president is the exactly wrong person for the job, almost everything he says is a lie, and every single day, the citizens of this nation are forced to figure out how to understand the newest way Trump and his legal team are trying to undermine the investigation into how he got to the White House to begin with.
But some situations in the Trump era are more insane than others, and one of the worst aspects of this administration’s policies is proving to be their approach to immigration and deportation.
Right now, America is in the middle of a humanitarian crisis, with children being ripped from the arms of their parents, never to see them again, and in some cases — as in the nearly 1,500 “missing” children in Arizona — completely lost from the system after having been detained away from their families.
All of this, despite his denials, comes from a direct order from Donald Trump. He alone is responsible for this monstrous, heartless, inhumane policy.
But Trump’s foot soldiers in his Cabinet certainly aren’t helping things any.
After Attorney General Jeff Sessions very publicly — almost gleefully — announced the new policy earlier this month, the detention and deportation actions have taken on a new urgency, with ICE and the Customs and Border Patrol agencies going after everyone who even looks like they may know someone who knows someone who might be an undocumented immigrant.
And even worse, it’s happening right outside of schools, day care centers, and other places that the administration KNOWS will specifically result in children being taken away from their parents: ICE agents, laying in wait, called by the school administrators themselves.
The Department of Education could very well hold this policy to account and at least demand that the administration adheres to the 1982 Supreme Court ruling that prohibits states from denying an education to any student based on immigration status.
That’s not how Betsy DeVos feels, though.
In an appearance before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Congressman Adriano Espaillat tried to nail down just exactly how DeVos feels about the practice of arresting parents outside of schools, so that they may be forcibly detained and deported. Betsy did not want to answer that question:
Then Espaillat asked the even bigger question — should it be a federal policy for schools to call ICE on undocumented students or parents? DeVos was less than forthcoming on that issue as well:
The ACLU weighed in on Betsy DeVos’ seeming inability to understand the SCOTUS ruling that prevents school administrators from doing what she advocates:
Let’s be clear: Any school that reports a child to ICE would violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court has made clear that every child in America has a right to a basic education, regardless of immigration status. Secretary DeVos is once again wrong.”
Until Donald Trump himself hands down an order to stop this horrific third-world fascist policy, it’s clear that the woman in charge of protecting our nation’s schoolchildren has no intention of doing her job.
Featured image via screen capture