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Separated : inside an American tragedy

by Soboroff, Jacob,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 17 copies
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"The seminal book on the child-separation policy." --Rachel Maddow

The award-winning NBC News correspondent lays bare the full truth behind the Trump administration's systematic separation of families at the US-Mexico border

In June 2018, Donald Trump's most notorious decision as president had secretly been in effect for months before most Americans became aware of the astonishing inhumanity being perpetrated by their own government. Jacob Soboroff was among the first journalists to expose this reality after seeing firsthand the living conditions of the children in custody. His influential series of reports ignited public scrutiny that contributed to the president reversing his own policy and earned Soboroff the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Broadcast Journalism and, with his colleagues, the 2019 Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism.

But beyond the headlines, the complete, multilayered story lay untold. How, exactly, had such a humanitarian tragedy--now deemed "torture" by physicians--happened on American soil? Most important, what has been the human experience of those separated children and parents?

Soboroff has spent the past two years reporting the many strands of this complex narrative, developing sources from within the Trump administration who share critical details for the first time. He also traces the dramatic odyssey of one separated family from Guatemala, where their lives were threatened by narcos, to seek asylum at the U.S. border, where they were separated--the son ending up in Texas, and the father thousands of miles away, in the Mojave desert of central California. And he joins the heroes who emerged to challenge the policy, and who worked on the ground to reunite parents with children.

In this essential reckoning, Soboroff weaves together these key voices with his own experience covering this national issue--at the border in Texas, California, and Arizona; with administration officials in Washington, D.C., and inside the disturbing detention facilities. Separated lays out compassionately, yet in the starkest of terms, its human toll, and makes clear what is at stake in the 2020 presidential election.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In this gripping report, NBC correspondent Soboroff, who received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Broadcast Journalism for his initial coverage of this issue, reconstructs and contextualizes the trajectory of the Trump administration's immigrant family separation policy. Chronologically tracking this misguided practice in play-by-play fashion, Soboroff doggedly follows the story from the halls of power in Washington, DC, to an eerie showcase of border-wall prototypes near San Diego, to the heat and desolation of the Texas-Mexico border. The father of a young son, he disarmingly expresses his amazement at the lack of empathy shown by top officials in their zeal to deter immigrants and asylum-seekers. Ultimately, Soboroff focuses on the terrifying journey of a father and son fleeing violence in Guatemala, only to be separated and detained in freezing facilities akin to dog kennels. Each section begins with bureaucratic documents stating the grotesque and inane expectation that small children can wade through the complicated immigration process on their own. Supported by a time line and copious source notes, Soboroff's thoroughly engaging exposé of the inner workings of a corrupt and unfeeling government is essential to understanding America's current immigration misery."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "MSNBC correspondent Soboroff examines the origins and ramifications of the Trump administration's "deliberate and systemic separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents" in his harrowing and deeply informed debut. One of several journalists who brought attention to the family separation controversy after touring a Texas holding facility in 2018, Soboroff sketches the history of "deterrence-based immigration policy" under presidents Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, and details how Trump's ire over an increase in migrant detentions led attorney general Jeff Sessions to mandate criminal charges for anyone caught illegally crossing the border. Drawing on interviews with border security agents and White House staffers, Soboroff describes key moments in the decision-making process behind family separation, and punctuates his analysis with excerpts from asylum requests. The story of 12-year-old José and his father, Juan, who fled Guatemala for the U.S. only to be detained for months in separate facilities, is interwoven throughout. Though Trump was forced to back down from his "zero-tolerance" approach to border enforcement, and the issue has since fallen out of the headlines, Soboroff contends that the administration is still causing "immeasurable pain and unexpected suffering" to migrants. He presents a wealth of insider details, balancing his own sense of outrage with dogged reporting and vivid sketches of impacted families. The result is an impassioned, essential account of "one of the most shameful chapters in modern American history." (July)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Emigration and immigration -- Government policy -- 21st century.
Illegal aliens -- Government policy -- United States -- 21st century.
Border security -- Government policy -- United States -- 21st century.
Publisher New York, NY :2020
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description xxii, 388 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 373-388).
ISBN 9780062992192
Other Classic View