Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
As the Trump administration has faced public outrage for its policy of holding migrant children ransom in cages to force their parents to self-deport — a policy that has now led to a full-blown humanitarian crisis —Attorney General Jeff Sessions has dutifully and enthusiastically helped enforce it. And this week, he was threatened with contempt of court by federal district judge Emmet Sullivan, after trying to deport a woman and her daughter while their lawyers were still arguing their asylum case.
One person who agrees is Paul Schmidt, a retired former immigration judge and general counsel for the now-defunct predecessor of ICE, the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
“I’m stunned — absolutely stunned — as somebody that worked for the Justice Department for 35 years, been involved in the field for 45 years,” said Schmidt to MSNBC’s Katy Tur on Friday, in response to the clash between Sessions and the federal courts. “I think Sessions definitely should be held in contempt and ultimately he can go to jail and that’s exactly where he belongs.”
The Trump administration has generally shown disregard for the admonitions of courts throughout the family separation controversy. Last month, Trump officials missed the court-ordered deadline for all separated children under the age of five to be reunited with their parents. Even now many families remain torn apart, with some children likely to never see their parents again.
But it is especially notable that Jeff Sessions — who has spent his career lecturing the country on how the deportation state is necessary to uphold the law — would be so flagrantly ignoring the law himself.
Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.