There has been a lot of outrage over how DoJ Lawyer Sarah Fabian has been saying that children in detention do not need mattress, or soap, or toothbrushes or real blankets in detention facilities kept so cold that they are nicknamed “Refrigerators”.
Well, it turns out that she’s done worse things.
The United States’s loathsome argument—that it is “safe and sanitary” to confine children without soap, toothbrushes, dry clothes, and on concrete under bright lights—is morally indefensible. It’s also a spectacularly foolish argument to raise in the famously liberal Ninth Circuit, where the United States should have expected exactly the reception that it got. And even though the litigation began under the Obama administration, it was the Trump administration that elected to bring this appeal and ask the court to bless these inhumane conditions as “safe and sanitary.” That’s an extremely aggressive legal argument, and one that suggests that the disturbing conditions being reported at confinement centers are intentional, not a sign of mere neglect.
It is right and fit to condemn the Trump administration for its argument and its treatment of children. But it’s wrong to think the problem can be cured with a presidential election. Trump will depart; the problem will not depart with him. This administration is merely the latest one to subject immigrant children to abusive conditions. It’s been 35 years since Jenny Flores was strip-searched in an adult facility. Before Sarah Fabian defended concrete floors and bright lights for President Donald Trump, she defended putting kids in solitary confinement for President Barack Obama.
Remember, the UN has defined solitary confinement as torture, and the DoJ, and ICE, and CBP asked the courts to allow them to torture children with solitary confinement in 2015:
The Department of (in) Justice recently submitted a motion in opposition to a lawsuit filed by mothers and their children who want ICE to stop torturing their children by placing them in solitary confinement.
The DOJ now can be called the DOIJ for its monstrous defense and advocacy for the following policy:
ICE also has family residential standards that govern discipline and cover, among other things, a situation where a resident has participated in the offense of “insurrection,” which is defined as “[p]articipation or encouraging another to participate in unauthorized activity such as protesting or rioting.” See ICE/DRO Residential Standard, Discipline and Behavior Management, at 17, attached hereto as Exhibit O.6
The ICE disciplinary standards state that their purpose is to “provide a safe and orderly living environment” at ICE family residential facilities, and to “manage discipline and behavioral problems in a manner that ensures the safety and welfare of staff, residents, and visitors.” Exhibit O at 1. “Insurrection” is considered a major offense at ICE family residential facilities, and under the standards requires separation from the general population. Id. at 16-17. Medical observation rooms may be used to facilitate this separation.
In other words, if a mother protests or encourages another to protest, DOJ, led by the lawyer-warrior in favor of locking up toddlers and children, Sarah B. Fabian, ICE has a right to punish the mothers’ children with solitary confinement.
I would note that the pace of deportations under the Obama administration are still outpaced by those of the Obama administration.
There is a special place in hell for both of them.