Letter to the Editor: Four Pinocchios!

On Tuesday, June 19th, the Washington Post reported that Fact Checker assigned four Pinocchios to the Administration’s claim that its new “zero tolerance” immigration policy is the result of laws or decrees passed by others. “Four Pinocchios” means that the claim is a “whopper.”

No laws have changed since April when the zero tolerance policy began. In fact, for the previous 15 months, the administration followed a completely different pattern that did not involve separation of children from their parents at the border and did not involve prosecution of adults simply for having crossed the border.

It is this administration’s decision to prosecute all adults without papers that has created this nightmare for both the adults and children who are seeking asylum from dangers in Central America and for U.S. officials who are not equipped to provide humane conditions for 2000 children.

A bipartisan law does require that children be released from detention as soon as possible into the custody of family members in the U.S., if possible, whether or not those relatives are documented. One can only imagine what happens now when ICE finds out the relatives are not documented, or what happens to children without family members here to help them keep in touch with their parents, or what happens to the parents who now have a misdemeanor on their record.

Isn’t this just one more tragic example of a policy made on the fly to serve an ideological purpose (“zero tolerance” in this case) without adequate preparation or forethought? This one is a whopper.


Estella Lauter

Fish Creek, Wis.

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