Caitlin Dickerson’s tour de force Atlantic piece on the secret history of the U.S.
government’s family-separation policy provides a detailed look at who created the border separation policy and who pushed for it to continue even after tragic outcomes. It also provides a look at how bad things can happen when every layer of bureaucracy assumes it’s someone else’s job to stop it. We need to take away children. “It is easy to pin culpability for family separations on the anti-immigration officials for which the Trump administration is known. But these separations were also endorsed and enabled by dozens of members of the government’s middle and upper management: Cabinet secretaries, commissioners, chiefs, and deputies who, for various reasons, didn’t voice concern even when they should have seen catastrophe looming; who trusted “the system” to stop the worst from happening; who reasoned that it would not be strategic to speak up in an administration where being labeled a RINO or a “squish”—nicknames for those deemed insufficiently conservative—could end their career; who assumed that someone else, in some other department, must be on top of the problem; who were so many layers of abstraction away from the reality of screaming children being pulled out of their parent’s arms that they could hide from the human consequences of what they were doing.”