A government watchdog is questioning the existence of a “central database” that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told the public was keeping track of children separated from their parents at the border.
A report released by DHS’s inspector general “found no evidence that such a database exists,” despite a DHS announcement on June 23rd that the agency was relying on one with the help of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The finding was among several by investigators who determined the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy was poorly planned and orchestrated.
DHS “was not fully prepared to implement the zero-tolerance policy, or to deal with certain effects of the policy following implementation,” the report states.
In a letter included in the report, DHS didn’t deny that a central database never existed, noting that HHS and DHS used separate tracking systems.
Editor’s Note: Dafuq do they think centralized means??
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen should resign, while another senior Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said Congress should subpoena documents to get to the bottom of what happened.
“Secretary Nielsen signed off on this family separation policy, falsely claimed that the policy did not exist, and then callously failed to address the policy’s tragic and inevitable fallout,” Durbin said Tuesday. “In light of this devastating report, she should resign.”
On June 23, DHS released a fact sheet that stated “there is a central database which HHS and DHS can access and update when a parent(s) or minor(s) location information changes.”
But investigators said the most they found was a “manually-compiled spreadsheet” called a “matching table” maintained by HHS along with border patrol and immigration authorities, and that the spreadsheet wasn’t created until the same day that DHS released its fact sheet.
Editor’s Note: No, seriously. This is important. What the flying fuck do they think ‘central database’ means? Because as the inspector general understands, a central database is not a singular fucking .XLSX file located on one person’s computer that can’t be accessed or updated by other people.
Next they’ll tell us it was ‘centralized’ because they uploaded it to Google Sheets…
UPDATE: According to NPR, the agencies communicate with one another by entering information into Microsoft Word documents and attaching them to emails.
E-mail! E-MAIL! You know, that thing over which you’re NEVER supposed to send confidential or sensitive information because of how damn insecure it is? You know, that thing that Republicans investigated for years and then turned into an election issue?
DHS said in its letter to investigators that the report didn’t give the federal government enough credit for trying to connect families after separating them.
Editor’s Note: The next time your CEO or head of HR says you’ve engaged in malicious, bordering-on-criminal neglect, please tell them that they’re just not giving you enough credit.
Also, take a video of it and send it to the Bloated Orange, because we really want to see how it works out for you.