Jonathan White of @HHSGov reveals the level of incompetence at the agency with this remark at today’s @senjudiciary Committee hearing on family reunification efforts. HHS is complicit in the crisis that has ripped thousands of families apart. pic.twitter.com/hSVOnOKc88
— Equity Forward (@EquityForward) July 31, 2018
Courtesy of HuffPo:
The government official leading the effort to reunite immigrant families separated at the border said Tuesday that he and others warned in private meetings over the past year that a policy that split families would be harmful to kids.
The Trump administration did it anyway.
The statement by Health and Human Services official Jonathan White, an executive director in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, was a rare public acknowledgment that the Trump administration was well aware that its border crackdown would result in separating families ― and that doing so could cause serious emotional damage.
“There’s no question that separation of children from parents entails significant potential for traumatic psychological injury to the child,” said White, who is a licensed clinical social worker, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
White said during his previous role as deputy director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement he was involved in discussions over the course of a year about immigration policies that could result in separation of families. That agency cares for unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border, now including those taken away from the parents they arrived with.
In those discussions, White said he and other ORR officials “raised a number of concerns … about any policy which would result in family separation,” based on the best interest of the child and the agency’s capacity to care for the ensuing influx in kids.
At that time officials were assured that no policy for separating families was in the works, and then suddenly the zero-tolerance policy was in place, which apparently caught everybody off guard.
So now we know that the Trump Administration was told repeatedly that the zero-tolerance policy was dangerous to young children and the implemented it anyhow.
So much for the party of “family values.”