Dara Lind Profile picture
23 Feb, 4 tweets, 1 min read
If you’re focusing on the (re)opening of individual facilities you should also be aware of the broader context—the HHS agency responsible for housing unaccompanied migrant kids had to reduce capacity HUGELY bc of COVID precautions, and it could be a problem as kids keep coming.
The Biden administration could be expelling these kids under the CDC order, as Trump admin did before court order stopped them, but after order was lifted Biden chose not to resume kid expulsions.
That means when kids come without adult relatives, gov has to house/care for them while looking for sponsor (usually relative in US). And in recent years, ORR has been criticized for being too hasty with releases—and allowing kids to be exploited as laborers—as well as too slow.
P.S. I said "also" in my first tweet for a reason. There's certainly disagreement over whether many ORR facilities, not to mention CBP stations where kids are held once they cross into US, are actually suitable/humane. But this is about _policy_ as well as conditions.

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More from @DLind

3 Feb
To the extent that the phrase "kids in cages" refers to specific facilities, they're this sort of facility Biden admin now reopening.

They appear to be choosing to do this instead of expelling children under CDC order (court ruling stopping kid expulsions was reversed last week)
I do, FWIW, think the first clause of that tweet is important. "Kids in cages" was a meme that referred to several different specific policies/events/periods, and also served as a catch-all for the ~feeling~ that Trump admin was abusive toward asylum seekers.
Lifting up this counterpoint which I think is arguably correct but also goes to show the elasticity of the phrase
Read 4 tweets
3 Feb
I don't doubt this, but it's interesting that "morale" is only explicitly invoked when it's down. I don't recall the Trump admin, or its supporters, explicitly saying during his presidency that morale at ICE was up, or high. (The people saying that were generally criticizing it.)
To be clear the “morale is only invoked when it’s down because the line employees don’t agree with the policies” thing is also 100 percent true on the dovish side of the bureaucracy, e.g. refugee and asylum officers under Trump.
!! I stand corrected: When Homan left ICE in 2018, then-Secretary Nielsen noted that morale at the agency was at its highest since 2010. dhs.gov/blog/2018/04/3…
Read 5 tweets
2 Feb
It deserves saying explicitly, both because it’s not the way things have gone for the last four years and because it’ll help with critical news consumption: we’ve had very near 24 hours of talk from the WH _about_ what’s in these EOs, but we haven’t actually seen text yet.
That means not just that reporters don’t have ability to assess likely efficacy of EOs, or notice anything the WH doesn’t want to draw attn to, but that we can barely even use our own words and be sure we’re describing them accurately—which means it’s very hard to de-spin them.
FULL TEXT of border/asylum EO--posting before reading, for benefit of those who didn't get the email (1-4 of 8)
Read 7 tweets
2 Feb
-Staff journalists don’t get paid to tweet, but to produce content for our brands.
-There are lotsa downsides to breaking news by tweet (but contextualizing it means getting “scooped” by someone just tweeting it out)
-Non-journos are out here tweeting like they’re journos anyway
I limited replies to this bc last bullet point is guaranteed, on this hell site, to get misconstrued as snooty credentialism. That’s not what I mean. I mean specific folk who act as if they’re breaking news, w/o any structure for accountability for if they are wrong or spinning.
And to be clear this is not supposed to be my Contribution To The Discourse About Whether Journalists Should Tweet. I find that whole thing to be totally ludicrous, as a journalist who got my career mostly through tweeting. This is me being annoyed with a different dynamic.
Read 4 tweets
24 Jan
80 pages of introduction and Emily Wilson failed to prepare me for just how much I would want to punch Telemachus in the nose
The thing about hearing Nestor say that Telemachus talks like Odysseus, before we’ve heard from Odysseus directly, is that I’m starting to wonder if Odysseus really is as clever as y’all say
(This is not a full tweeting-along-with-reading thread, just a talking-smack-about-Telemachus thread)
Read 5 tweets
21 Jan
Text of statement here.
(I apologize for saying earlier today it would happen next week. That was what I was consistently hearing from people I trust.)
Read 6 tweets

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