Separating children from their parents isn’t just immoral. It also threatens our national security.

The American Public Health Association wrote that the trauma from such separation could lead to alcoholism, substance abuse, depression, obesity and suicide. (While the White House says the policy will end for future migrants, it will still affect the thousands of children currently in custody.)

.. But even for those who believe immigration lawbreakers deserve punishment, there’s another argument against separating children from their families: national security. The government’s policy puts the United States at risk, in both the short and long term, by breeding a generation of children with psychological problems and a population elsewhere that reviles us. Traumatized children are prime recruits for extremist groups.

Their children and children’s children grow up in the shadow of, to use the language of 9,300 mental health experts, shrapnel of this traumatic experience embedded in their minds.” As adults, these traumatized children are significantly more likely to have encounters with law enforcement.

.. An extensive body of literature documents how early childhood trauma creates cycles of violence that can destabilize whole nations.

.. most “deterrence” interventions, including jailing and family separation, actually triggered increased terrorist attacks.

.. In North America, the survivors of forced attendance in American Indian boarding schools have seen the effects reverberate for years. Scholars in Canada have drawn causal links between boarding school attendance (sometimes for children as young as 3) in the 1900s and elevated levels of depression, drug use and criminal behavior two generations later.

.. Native American women sent to boarding schools as girls were six times more likely to be incarcerated than their white counterparts and had a 57 percent higher rate of alcoholism as adults.

.. A 2016 study of 15,587 adult children of incarcerated parents found that separating children from parents directly increased interactions with the criminal justice system, including drug abuse and gang affiliation.

.. Syrian children separated from their support systems are “more likely to become

  • the youngest laborers in the factory,
  • the youngest brides at the altar, and
  • the youngest soldiers in the trench.”

.. The individual suffering of older children is immediately consequential to our security because incarceration centers have become recruiting grounds for armed groups. Trump’s favorite boogeyman, the MS-13 gang from which so many Salvadorans fleewas founded in Los Angeles prisons. The United States is keenly aware that young people can be easily radicalized while imprisoned

.. We have seen the radicalization of incarcerated youths firsthand. One of us, Steven Leach, spent years working with South African juveniles awaiting trial. These youths did not all enter detention as organized criminals, but without exception, among those who worked with Leach, each left prison a member of the gang.

..  A similar problem emerged in the internment camps of the Anglo-Boer war, in which British soldiers detained civilians to deter guerrilla campaigns by Boer insurgents. Approximately 115,000 people were held in the camps between 1901 and 1902; 22,000 Afrikaner children died. More than a century later, that horror remains at the forefront of the Afrikaner imagination

.. He leverages lies to stoke fear here: “We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!

..Naturally, this feeds radical anti-American sentiment and promotes nationalism abroad when the U.S. is most in need of alliances to solve global problems.

.. There is now strong evidence that punitive deterrence strategies don’t work, no matter how burdensome they are.

.. punishments between 2000 and 2015 effectively reduced economic migration from Mexico but had negligible impact on the population the administration is targeting with its current policy: asylum seekers fleeing violence.

The report points out that there is no consequence worse than death and violence at home for these migrants.

.. If these are people we want as enemies, we had better be prepared for a multigenerational war.

White House to Impose Metal Tariffs on E.U., Canada and Mexico

By keeping trading partners guessing, the president has sought to create leverage in trade negotiations, including in talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. But in the process, he has sowed an atmosphere of chaos among allies as well as manufacturers uncertain about the ultimate impact on their vast supply chains.

.. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada said it was “inconceivable” that Canada “could be considered a national security threat.”

.. “For the first time in generations, we’ve really thrown out the rule book with our best trading partners,” said Rufus Yerxa, the president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents some of the largest exporters in the United States. “We can’t expect them to continue business as usual with us if we are throwing out the rules. So that means everything from airplanes to agriculture is on the chopping block.”

.. But Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday phoned to tell the Canadian prime minister that the precondition of a deal was a sunset clause, meaning the pact would automatically expire unless the three countries voted to continue it. The idea has drawn ire from both foreign leaders and business executives, who say it undercuts the surety that trade agreements are meant to create.
“I had to highlight that there was no possibility of any Canadian prime minister signing a Nafta deal that included a five-year sunset clause,” said Mr. Trudeau, “and obviously the visit didn’t happen.”
.. Germany, in particular, had pressed for a negotiated solution, but officials there grew wary after Mr. Trump announced that he would begin a separate trade investigation into automotive imports. If car tariffs go into effect, they would especially hurt Germany’s economy.
.. The Trump administration has argued that imports have weakened the country’s industrial base, and, by extension, its ability to produce tanks, weapons and armored vehicles. “We take the view that without a strong economy, you can’t have strong national security,” the commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, said Thursday.
.. The European Union and Canada have objected strongly to the idea that they pose any kind of threat to national security, citing their close alliances and defense agreements with the United States.
.. Canada announced corresponding tariffs on a broad list of American exports, including steel and aluminum, as well as dozens of basic consumer products like ketchup, insecticides and laundry machines. The Canadian tariffs, which go into effect July 1,
.. The United Steelworkers union, which represents members in Canada as well as the United States, said the decision called “into serious question” the design and direction of the administration’s trade strategy.

.. The Aluminum Association, the industry trade group, also said it was disappointed. Heidi Brock, the group’s president, said the tariffs would do little to address the larger issue of overcapacity in China “while potentially alienating allies and disrupting supply chains that more than 97 percent of U.S. aluminum industry jobs rely upon.”

.. “These tariffs are hitting the wrong target,” said Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas. “When it comes to unfairly traded steel and aluminum, Mexico, Canada and Europe are not the problem — China is.”

.. In a more pointed statement, Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, called the tariffs “dumb.”

“Europe, Canada and Mexico are not China, and you don’t treat allies the same way you treat opponents,” he said.

Trump’s Manchurian Trade Policy

Remember “The Manchurian Candidate”? The 1959 novel, made into a classic 1962 film (never mind the remake), involved a plot to install a Communist agent as president of the United States. One major irony was that the politician in question was modeled on Senator Joe McCarthy — that is, he posed as a superpatriot even while planning to betray America.

.. Both the international rules and domestic law — Article XXI and Section 232, respectively — let the U.S. government do pretty much whatever it wants in the name of national security.

.. If the U.S. or any other major player began promiscuously using dubious national security arguments to abrogate trade agreements, everyone else would follow suit, and the whole trading system would fall apart.

.. But Trump is different. He has already imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum in the name of national security, and he is now threatening to do the same for autos.

.. The idea that imported cars pose a national security threat is absurd. We’re not about to refight World War II, converting auto plants over to the production of Sherman tanks. And almost all the cars we import come from U.S. allies. Clearly, Trump’s invocation of national security is a pretext

.. the proposed auto tariffs would further undermine our allies’ rapidly eroding faith in U.S. trustworthiness.

.. Which is not to say that national security should never be a consideration in international trade. On the contrary, there’s a very clear-cut case right now: the Chinese company ZTE, which makes cheap phones and other electronic goods.

.. Yet Trump is pulling out all the stops in an effort to reverse actions against ZTE, in defiance of lawmakers from both parties.

.. China approved a huge loan to a Trump-related project in Indonesia just before rushing to ZTE’s defense; at the same time, China granted valuable trademarks to Ivanka Trump. And don’t say that it’s ridiculous to suggest that Trump can be bribed; everything we know about him says that yes, he can.

.. what we’re getting is Manchurian trade policy: a president using obviously fake national security arguments to hurt democratic allies, while ignoring very real national security concerns to help a hostile dictatorship.

The Flaw in Trump’s National Security Tariffs Logic

Levies don’t go far enough to eliminate reliance on foreign steel and aluminum, suggesting what’s really at work is plain old trade protectionism

.. You can’t make aluminum without bauxite, yet the U.S. is completely dependent on imports for bauxite; the last domestic mine closed nearly 30 years ago.

the U.S. has less than half the iron ore reserves of Russia and China “since we have been using up our iron ore at a substantial rate for more than 100 years” and U.S. ore has a much lower iron content than theirs. Stimulating domestic production via import tariffs, he said, will speed up the depletion of those reserves.

.. In fact, punishing trading partners can increase national security risk, which Mr. Horlick considers another lesson of the oil saga. After Eisenhower exempted Canada and Mexico from the quotas, Venezuela asked for the same, noting it had been a reliable supplier during World War II and hadn’t nationalized its industry, as Mexico had.

.. Venezuela’s oil minister went to Washington to propose a Western Hemisphere system under which Venezuela would be guaranteed a share of the U.S. market.

When he got nowhere, he traveled to the Middle East and helped found OPEC, which embargoed the U.S. in 1973.