Trump admin specifically targeted migrant children as a deterrent

There is a special place in hell for people like this:

“We need to take away children,” Mr. Sessions told the prosecutors, according to participants’ notes. One added in shorthand: “If care about kids, don’t bring them in. Won’t give amnesty to people with kids.”

Rod J. Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went even further in a second call about a week later, telling the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were.

Aside from the inherent cruelty of Sessions' directive, it's also logically flawed. Who deserves amnesty more than small children? When your moral compass is so fucked up it points directly south, you have no business leading a barbershop quartet, much less the U.S. Justice Department. But while Sessions and Rosenstein deserve their own Nuremberg trials, it's the narcissistic sociopath Donald Trump who drove them to such inhumane actions:

Gene Hamilton, a top lawyer and ally of Stephen Miller, the architect of the president’s assault on immigration, argued in a 32-page response that Justice Department officials merely took direction from the president. Mr. Hamilton cited an April 3, 2018, meeting with Mr. Sessions; the homeland security secretary at the time, Kirstjen Nielsen; and others in which the president “ranted” and was on “a tirade,” demanding as many prosecutions as possible.

Mr. Hamilton declined to comment for this article, as did Mr. Horowitz’s office. Mr. Sessions did not respond to requests for comment. Alexa Vance, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, disputed the draft report and said the Homeland Security Department referred cases for prosecution.

“The draft report relied on for this article contains numerous factual errors and inaccuracies,” she said. “While D.O.J. is responsible for the prosecutions of defendants, it had no role in tracking or providing custodial care to the children of defendants. Finally, both the timing and misleading content of this leak raise troubling questions about the motivations of those responsible for it.”

That's a crock. The DOJ was the hammer Trump used to bash these immigrant families, and Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tried her best to stop it from happening:

“The A.G.’s goal,” he said, “was to create a more effective deterrent so that everybody would believe that they had a risk of being prosecuted.”

But the Justice Department still needed to persuade Ms. Nielsen to refer all families for prosecution, which she had been resisting. The draft report says a pressure campaign culminated in a May 3 meeting in which Mr. Sessions insisted that Customs and Border Protection begin referring all of those cases to prosecutors.

“We must vigorously enforce our criminal immigration laws to ensure that there are consequences for illegal actions and to deter future illegal immigration,” Mr. Sessions planned to say, according to the draft report. “That means that an illegal alien should not get a free pass just because he or she crosses the border illegally with a child.”

When the group voted by a show of hands to proceed, Ms. Nielsen was the only one who kept her hand down, according to two people familiar with the vote, which was reported earlier by NBC News. The next day, Ms. Nielsen backed down, signing a memo referring all adults for prosecution and clearing the way for the children to be separated.

We can say she should have "held her ground." But everybody reading this knows what would have happened. Trump would have fired her, and put some Stephen Miller clone in her place.

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