Separating Migrant Children From Their Parents Is Not Required By Law, But Even if It Were…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/06/2018 - 3:14pm in

There is no law requiring family separation at the border. And even if there was, that still would not be enough to justify the administration’s cruel policy.

That’s Ilya Somin, professor of law at George Mason University, writing at Reason. He notes that in April and May of this year, nearly 2000 children were forcibly taken away from their parents, “often under cruel conditions likely to cause trauma and inflict longterm developmental damage.”

McAllen, Texas facility where agents of the U.S. government lock up children they’ve forcibly and/or deceptively taken from their parents and guardians as they arrive at the U.S. border as prospective immigrants.

Somin writes:

The federal law criminalizing “improper entry” by aliens does not require family separation. The law also provides for the use of civil penalties, as well as criminal ones. While it states that the application of civil penalties does not preclude application of criminal ones, it also does not compel federal prosecutors to pursue both. Until the administration’s recent policy change, civil proceedings were in fact the usual approach in case of families with minor children, under both Democratic and Republican administrations. The use of civil proceedings generally does not require pretrial detention, and therefore obviates the need to detain either parents or children; some civil defendants were detained, nonetheless, but in facilities where families can stay together. The Trump administration, by contrast, has sometimes even forcibly separated children from migrants who have not violated any law, but instead have legally crossed the border to petition for asylum in the United States.

The Trump administration claims that their policy is required by the 1997 Flores court settlement. But that settlement in no way mandates family separation and detention of children away from their parents. To the contrary, it instructs federal officials to “place each detained minor in the least restrictive setting appropriate” and to release them to the custody of family or guardians “without unnecessary delay.” The settlement also mandates that federal immigration officials must “treat all minors in its custody with dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors.” Detaining children under harsh conditions, separated from their parents, is pretty obviously not “the least restrictive setting” possible, and it most definitely doesn’t qualify as treating children with “dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability.”

Even if the law did clearly direct criminal prosecution combined with automatic family separation in pretrial detention, it does not follow that the administration had a legal duty to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy that prioritizes prosecution of this particular type of offense. In a world where the vast majority of adult Americans have violated federal criminal law at some point in their lives, and there are so many laws and offenders that prosecutors can only target a small fraction of them, federal officials inevitably have vast discretion in determining which offenses to pursue and to what degree. First-time illegal entry into the United States is a mere misdemeanor carrying a penalty (up to 6 months imprisonment or a small fine) lower than the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana (1 year). The relative penalties suggest that federal law considers the latter a more serious offense than the former. Yet not even hard-core drug warriors like Sessions urge the federal government to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy under which we routinely prosecute all small-time marijuana users. In practice, the feds only target a tiny fraction of them. And when they do, they don’t separate their children from them, and detain the children under harsh conditions.

But even if the law required the government to take migrants’ children from them, Somin argues that that is no justification, for the law is unjust:

Not every law is just. Some, at least, are so unjust that there is no moral obligation to obey them. For example, there is widespread agreement that civil rights activists were justified in violating segregation laws, and abolitionists in violating the Fugitive Slave Acts. Violation of these laws was just because they inflicted grave harm on innocent people based on morally irrelevant characteristics: race and ancestry. Much the same is true of many of our immigration laws. Most of the undocumented migrants entering the United States with their minor children are fleeing violence, abuse, oppression, dire poverty, or other terrible conditions. The laws that bar their entry are largely based on immutable conditions similar to race: who their parents were, or where they were born. The US may not be responsible for the awful conditions these people are fleeing. But if we forcibly deport them back to places where they are likely to face oppression, privation, and often even death, we become complicit in the wrongs they suffer. As philosopher Michael Huemer explains, the situation the situation is akin to one where we use force to prevent starving people from buying food they need to survive.

But even if it were just, we have choices about how to enforce the law:

Even in the case of otherwise just laws, there must be moral limits to the means used to enforce them. The child-separation policy crosses any reasonable line. It inflicts harm grossly disproportionate to any offense. And most of that harm is suffered by children – people themselves innocent of wrongdoing. Even if their parents acted wrongly in trying to enter the United States, the children had little choice in the matter.

The essay is brief and well-written. You can read the whole thing here. I encourage you to share it widely.

The post Separating Migrant Children From Their Parents Is Not Required By Law, But Even if It Were… appeared first on Daily Nous.

Biased Public Funded Media Organisation Wants To Privatise The ABC

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/06/2018 - 8:10am in

News Corporation, which paid no tax last year, has welcomed the proposed sale and break up of the ABC, saying there is only room for one severely biased media conglomerate in the Australian market.

“The people saying that we’re depriving the Australian public of millions in annual tax revenue have no idea of the deductible expenses needed to run our newspapers,” said News Corporation accountant Atticus Sludge. “Our Photoshop bill alone is the size of the GDP of Belgium, and that bloke who draws Staria charges us an arm and a leg.”

“I see nothing biased at all in headlines such as “Sun God Tony Abbott Is The Right Man To Lead Our Country” and “Greens Want To Kidnap Your Children And Turn Them Into Organic Mulch”,” said Daily Telegraph sub editor Janice San-Serif. “We’re doing the country a favour by employing Peta Credlin and keeping her far away from an actual position of power, but do we get any thanks?”

“The ABC fills a vital role in Australian society and it would be a shame if we couldn’t fund the building of an even bigger coffee mug for Tom Gleeson to drive around in just so our greedy schools and hospitals could hog an even bigger slice of the public purse,” said ABC board member Felicity Scoby. “We’re currently working on a new series where Annabel Crabb takes a typical Australian family and makes them relive decades of budget cuts to the ABC.”

Peter Green

You can follow The (un)Australian on twitter or like us on facebook.

BBC Director of News Warns Young Turning Away from Beeb

Last Friday, 15th June 2018, the I newspaper carried an article reporting a warning about the Beeb’s future given by Fran Unsworth, the Corporation’s Director of News and Current Affairs, at the Women on Air conference. Young people are increasingly turning away from the Beeb, and if this continues, it will threaten the Beeb’s future as it no longer has an audience.

The article, under the title, Youth Exodus from News ‘Threatening BBC’s Survival stated

The BBC’s existence is under threat if it cannot encourage more younger viewers to watch its news services, a senior executive warned.

Fran Unsworth, BBC director of news and current affairs, said the corporation was playing a “deadly serious” version of The Generation Game. She told the Women On Air conference: “The most significant challenge facing the BBC is how we reach younger audiences. Less and less are under 35. Our very existence might be called into question.”

Recent BBC figures showed that 16-24 year-old spend more time watching Netflix in a week than with all of BBC TV, including the BBC iPlayer. The sizes of audiences tuning in for scheduled news bulletins is declining rapidly, the Digital News Report, published yesterday, found. (P. 9)

The remainder of the article dealt with the issue of getting more female experts on television news. Unsworth stated this was right, but they couldn’t just sack people.

Okay, I’m not the best person to explain why young people under 35 aren’t watching the Beeb, as it’s well over a decade since I was that age. I can’t really talk about changes in entertainment tastes, as I don’t share many of them. Or at least, I’m not interested in some of the programmes that excite the reviewers in the media, like the various TV dramas about detectives hunting down deranged serial killers, and uncovering a web of lies and corruption. Or equally tense dramas about child abuse. My taste in detective television basically extended to Columbo and Van Der Valk, when he was last on back in the 1990s.

But I can make a good guess why young – and older – people aren’t tuning into BBC news. And it’s because of the Beeb’s appalling pro-Tory bias. Young people are the section of the British public in which support for Jeremy Corbyn is strongest. And the Beeb’s coverage of Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour party has been overwhelmingly, and very blatantly biased. And it’s become very, very obvious. The Corporation no longer has the same strong position as Britain’s trusted news broadcaster it once had. People are able to get their news now from a wider variety of sources through the internet, as well as the Corporation’s competitors on the commercial channels. And these news shows, such as RT, Democracy Now, Telesur English, Al-Jazeera, and in America The Young Turks, Secular Talk, Sam Seder’s Majority Report, the David Pakman Show and so, present a very different picture of what’s going on in the world. While the Beeb runs the establishment propaganda that our invasions and interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere are all for humanitarian reasons, these show how the real motivation is simply western corporate imperialism. They will also show just how the Israeli state is oppressing and viciously persecuting the Palestinians, and how the US – and Britain- has sponsored coups in Latin America, Iran and elsewhere, which have overthrown liberal and socialist regimes and installed Fascist dictators. All to protect US and British corporate interests, of course.

The Beeb, however, is very much part of the establishment, and its broadcasting is very much aimed at the corporate and political elite on the one hand, where it reflects their interests and concerns, and on the other aimed at getting the rest of us to accept it. There isn’t anything particularly unique about this. The Corporation’s bias against Labour is shared by the rest of the lamestream media and press. But they’re also increasingly under pressure from these alternative news sources.

If the Beeb really wants to get young people, and a large part of the older generation, back watching the news, then they should change their bias and start reporting Corbyn and the Labour party objectively and truthfully, as well as stop repeating flag-waving establishment propaganda about the wars in the Middle East. But this would be too radical a change, I fear. It would mean clearing out all the various Tories in the Beeb’s news teams, like Laura Kuenssberg and Nick Robinson, or telling them to do their job properly. And so the Beeb is stuck as the voice of a right-wing, Tory, imperialist establishment, while more and more people take their news from elsewhere.

Stockton Economic Empowerment Project in the News

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/06/2018 - 4:00pm in

The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) has been the subject of a consideration amount of attention from American and international media lately, with news outlets such as Reuters, the Washington Post and the New York Times publishing articles on the topic. SEED, which will take place in the city of Stockton, California, will involve giving a regular monthly income of

The post Stockton Economic Empowerment Project in the News appeared first on BIEN.

The Horizon NGO launches the United Basic Income Platform

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 17/06/2018 - 5:20pm in



Horizon Factory is a “platform through which organizations can set up an independent basic income project, supporting their own community while contributing to Horizon’s global basic income service”. Aiming high at a world-wide basic income, naming this as the United Basic Income Platform, Horizon’s goal is to link up all the world’s basic income initiatives, thus effectively creating a global

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The Horizon NGO launches the United Basic Income Platform

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 17/06/2018 - 5:09pm in



Horizon Factory is a “platform through which organizations can set up an independent basic income project, supporting their own community while contributing to Horizon’s global basic income service”. Aiming high at a world-wide basic income, naming this as the United Basic Income Platform, Horizon’s goal is to link up all the world’s basic income initiatives, thus effectively creating a global

The post The Horizon NGO launches the United Basic Income Platform appeared first on BIEN.

Italy: There is no basic income being proposed in Italy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 14/06/2018 - 5:37pm in


News, Italy

Since the new government led by Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) and Lega (the Italian extreme right-wing party) was formed, the proposal of a so-called “citizen income” in Italy has had much echo. First proposals go back to 2013, having been reported at the time. This proposal is among the first programmatic points of the M5S and has been included in the

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One Nation Books Telephone Booth For National Conference

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 14/06/2018 - 8:24am in



Plans for the upcoming One Nation national conference were thrown into disarray recently as the party struggled to find a telephone booth in regional Australia to hold the conference.

“Telstra should be ashamed about the lack of telephone booths left in regional Australia,” said a One Nation spokesperson. “How are our farmers meant to call their friends or Lifeline without a phone booth?”

“It’s not like they can get any coverage on their mobile phones.”

When asked why the party needed a phone booth for their national conference the spokesperson replied: “Well we only have two Senators and it would be a bit weird booking out a function space for two people. Well two and a half as I’m sure Malcolm Roberts will turn up.”

“But it’s turned out all good now. We found a disused barn out the back of Bourke, and the old pig trough will be ideal for us to get together and trade ideas.”

Mark Williamson

You can follow The (un)Australian on twitter or like us on facebook

Possible New Minimum Income Experiement in Manitoba

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 12/06/2018 - 8:00pm in



Manitoba, the Canadian province which was the location of one of the most well-known basic income experiments of the last century, may be re-examining the possibility of instituting a basic income guarantee (BIG) following a recommendation from the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. The Winnipeg Chamber, which describes itself as “Winnipeg’s largest business association”, recently contributed to the local Manitoban government’s

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Ideological Biodiversity

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/06/2018 - 5:00pm in



“Wolf attacks: tonight, we’ll hear from both sides.”