Commentary by Francois Crépeau: “An excellent analysis, with lots of cool infographics, of why, on immigration issues as it is the case on other complex social issues, zero-tolerance policies must be replaced by harm-reduction policies.”
On 6 April 2018, the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, issued a memoto federal prosecutors along the US-Mexico border directing them “to adopt immediately a zero-tolerance policy” for violations of a federal law barring “improper entry” into the country. “You are on the front lines of this battle,” Sessions wrote, as if rallying his troops against an invading army.
Over the next six weeks, the collateral damage of the Trump administration’s policy was revealed: some 2,654 children were taken from their parents or guardians in order to fulfill the mandate that they be prosecuted for a criminal misdemeanor. As of 27 September, 219 children whose parents had already been deported remained in government custody.
They came to the US seeking a better life. They ended up behind bars. Thousands of documents analyzed by the Guardian provide the most comprehensive picture yet of what happened to immigrants prosecuted under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy.
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