Why government transparency matters for immigration
The public may never know the full scope of the harm caused by the Trump administration’s separation of families at the border.
What we do know is that the government is detaining thousands of men, women and children, without regard to their health and safety as the coronavirus outbreak continues. Holding the government accountable for the policies that impact the wellbeing and safety of individuals in their custody is more important than ever.
Two years ago, the administration announced its “zero-tolerance” policy that led to the separation of thousands of families. The American Immigration Council analyzed over 1,000 pages of documents that show government officials knew they were harming families, knew they could not effectively track families in government custody—and that they wanted to cover it all up.
Here are some of the Council’s findings:
2. There was no efficient or standardized system to track thousands of family members that were separated across the country. The government depended on manual data entry—sending Excel charts back and forth via email.
3. There was a public cover up. Government officials noted in emails that they wanted to divert public attention to unsympathetic cases in order to distract and pacify the public.
As our country comes together to address one of the greatest public health threats our nation has ever faced, the Council will advocate for government policies that ensure everyone’s safety. We will continue to expose the failures of our past and hold the government accountable to avoid repeating our darkest moments.
1. The government knew they were causing harm to children but continued the family separation policy.
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