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Yonatan Zunger 🔥 @yonatanzunger
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Here's the underlying news story. 1,475 of the over 7,000 children which ICE has seized from their parents are missing and unaccounted for - and will probably never be reunited with their parents.

I do not have words for how I feel right now.
Observe the numbers. Over 7,000 taken, 1,475 lost - and this is the first report. The project is still spinning up. The final numbers will be much, much, higher.
Una mattina, mi son svegliato
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao;
Una mattina, mi son svegliato
Eo ho trovato l'invasor.
Our music begins when our speech ends, when words cannot say what we must.
To state the obvious: ICE must be permanently and immediately abolished. Its functions do not need to be handed over to other agencies on any sort of urgent basis; we can discuss if there was anything useful they did at some later point. No continuity plan is needed.
To state the less obvious: "Losing" children under one's jurisdiction is almost certainly a criminal dereliction of duty, but because of the doctrine of qualified immunity, there is essentially no chance anyone will ever be prosecuted under US law for it.
There will be no legal recourse until and unless some future government prosecutes people for their involvement — something which cannot be done under US constitutional law, for those thinking this is a matter of an election. (Article I, section 10; no ex post facto laws)
So this conduct is literally above the law, absent the fall of the US government as we know it, just like such conduct has been above the law before, until the governments involved were brought down by war.
If anyone was wondering why people have been sounding the alarm so hard about the complete lack of legal accountability of police, "they can disappear children by the thousands and nobody can do anything about it" would be why.
If someone wants to consider the numbers seriously: the program started over the course of the year, and took roughly 7,000 children. Given slow startups, it probably averaged about 1/3 of its present efficiency, b/c it didn't start immediately, required changes, etc.
So the current run rate is probably around 20,000 children per year. Trump, Kelly (who, remember, headed DHS for Trump before being his chief of staff), and Sessions have all been very clear that they intend to grow and expand the program.
Given how programs like this can scale, it's not unreasonable for them to hit a run rate of 50,000 one year from now. At roughly continuous growth that would mean about 35,000 children taken in the next year.
Hi. We're going to do some serious fucking analysis of this, making real engineering estimates, the way that I promise you ICE is. This is not going to be pleasant, if you were somehow expecting that.
Since Trump was claiming 11,000,000 illegal immigrants in the US when he was running for office, and his office doesn't seem too picky about legal versus illegal when they can get away with it, I don't think we're going to be supply-limited anytime soon. So 50k isn't a cap.
If he makes it a priority — and getting rid of immigrants has been his top priority from the beginning — he could keep a 2.5x/yr growth rate going for a while. That's because the limits on this are money, the law, and logistics.
Money can be thrown at problems. The law, we have seen, is completely silent on these matters. As far as logistics, I'll refer you back to my 2015 analysis of what getting rid of 11M people in 2y would look like:…
The short answer is, it's doable, and there's prior art on the subject. But it does require some very serious logistics: if you have this many children showing up away from their parents, you have to store them *somewhere* while you decide what to do.
(Just at a very practical level: Joe ICE Officer seizes a mother and child. He sends the mother to a prison, and the child to… somewhere that can handle that, because he has to go off and find more children and can't spend his time babysitting.)
(It turns out that at large scales, even executing people on sight doesn't scale. Bodies are a lot more cumbersome than you would think, and can cause a lot of problems if you just leave them there. No matter how dedicated you are to evil, you *can't* avoid this issue.)
So you would need to set up some kinds of facilities where large numbers of children could be warehoused, under guard, until ultimately… well, that's an interesting question that we'll come to in a moment. But first, if they wanted to scale, they'd need warehousing. So:
Hey, check out this news story from ten days ago. HHS says it currently only has capacity to hold 10,751 children, so it's evaluating military bases in Texas and Arkansas.…
Here's an interesting bit from that article. Note that they say that 85% of the children are ultimately released to some other family member — but per the current report, 21% of the children taken are missing and unaccounted for. These numbers (literally) don't add up.
They also don't say what happens to the other 15% of children, nor do they say what they intend to do if ICE is making a policy of rounding up their entire families as well. So let's just say that there's a reason HHS is scouting out military bases.
(For those who don't know the acronyms: HHS = Health and Human Services; DHS = Department of Homeland Security. ICE is part of DHS. HHS is apparently the agency which is managing the children at the moment.)
(And yes, "DHS" does translate to "Ministerium for Heimatssicherheit" in German. Yes, it really was meant to be that creepy, AFAICT.)
Note that for each 10,000 children/year of run rate, at 45 days per child, you need 1,232 beds plus slack. For reasons mentioned above, the 45 could easily slide up to 90, requiring about 2,500 beds — call it 2,700 allowing for slack.
If we're at 20k right now, that's 5,400 beds required, and a year from now, 13,500. Since HHS is presumably using those beds for other things as well, they need more capacity fast. If they manage to triple in the year after that, to 150k children, they'd need 40,500 beds.
Of course, that's not just beds; it requires food, logistics, medicine, sanitation, and above all people. This gets expensive really fast, which means there's going to be more and more pressure to get those days per year down. Going up to 90 won't be an option.
So given that, what *are* the options? Giving them to their families is unlikely, because the families themselves are the targets of this operation. Forcibly deporting them to some other country would probably be the "preferred" option…
But that would require the other country to be able to do the same, since getting a few thousand children with no meaningful identification or idea who they are or where there parents are is a major refugee crisis.
One option we may start to hear about is encouraging more people to foster children, or even adopt them. That is, children will be taken from immigrants to give to more "deserving" parents.

Some fraction of the children will certainly be routed this way.
Quite frankly, some fraction of the children will certainly be routed to human traffickers of various sorts. The "war on trafficking" we hear about right now is 99% bullshit — but IME when these people accuse others of doing something, they start to consider it themselves, too.
But (thank all the gods) there's a finite demand for children among human traffickers well-connected to the US government, which means that these very large numbers of children are going to start building up fast.
As it happens, there's prior art about what to do about too many child prisoners, too.
The simplest solution, one very popular in previous versions of this, is to simply cut investment in food, medicine, sanitation, and so on. "Those children come from dirty countries," we'll be told; "they bring diseases with them. It's no surprise they're dying like that."
If you want to understand how these things have worked in the past, and feel like not sleeping for the next week or more, look up "Volkswagen baby nursery." I'm not going to link it; even thinking about reading that again makes me feel ill.
You might ask if you could actually get the people nominally taking care of the children to do anything this brutal, and whether their basic humanity would intervene. Evidence suggests: Yes, occasionally, but on the whole it would not be a problem.
cf the stories mentioned below, or this book if you're thinking "maybe women would be taking care of them, women are more gentle than men."

TL;DR: No.…
By cutting the investment per bed, and allowing disease to reduce the average stay time, you could reduce the effective cost by a factor of three or four pretty easily, which means you've just bought another year of scaling capacity!
I'm going to stop now, because if you think it's hard for you to read this, believe me that writing it is no more pleasant. But I know several people are thinking "oh, he's exaggerating, this isn't what's *really* going to happen. He's just trying to scare us."
Scroll back to where we started. Over 7,000 children have been seized from their parents by ICE *already*, and 1,475 of them have been lost. They are literally "losing" children by the thousands, in the first less than a year of the project.
This is the real thing, everyone. Children are disappearing en masse, adults as well, there is no law that will stop it, and there will be no accountability for anyone involved short of war.

Happy Memorial Day. //
Follow-up: This article gives some more context and reporting.
One more note: the SJMerc article above, that quoted the HHS as saying they have 10,751 beds, also quoted them as saying these are currently 91% used. So they're starting from a much tighter position than the bed count alone suggests!
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