As the Biden administration begins to take shape later this week it is likely that a reckoning is coming to El Paso, specifically to the local border patrol agency. As readers may be aware, in 2018 there was national outcry over the separation of children from their parents to stem the flow of the migrant caravans towards the United States.

The Trump administration instituted a family separation program to discourage immigrants from seeking asylum. Under the Trump program, many children were taken from their parents at the border. Although the Trump administration cancelled the “zero tolerance” program in June 2018 because of national and international outcry over the taking of children, some 600 migrant children remain separated from their parents. The “zero tolerance” program was first tested in El Paso in 2017.

The problem for El Paso is that the family separation program was started and deployed in El Paso. Although it is a federal issue, the individuals who conceived and implemented the program are likely members of the El Paso community.

El Paso has a long history of the anti-immigration measures. It currently jails immigrant at the local jails to help fund the county’s expenses.

But the outrage over the separation of children at the border is bringing a day of reckoning that many in El Paso will find unsettling.

Biden has said that his Justice Department will investigate the separation of children from their parents. The Justice Department “will determine responsibility for the family separation program.”

Biden stated that “there will be a thorough, thorough investigation of who is responsible, and whether or not the responsibility is criminal.” [See this link]

It remains unknown how long and how in depth the Biden investigation of the child separation program will be but any revelations from the investigation will paint an unflattering and public image of El Paso.

Martin Paredes

Reporting on public corruption, border politics, immigration and public policy in El Paso since 2000.