Ben Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials, called Donald Trump’s family separation policy a crime against humanity. A crime against humanity is defined as a “deliberate act, typically as part of a systematic campaign, that causes human suffering or death on a large scale.”
Ferencz went on to say Trump’s family separation policy was “painful”, when he learned that the Administration had separated 2,000 children from their families after they had crossed the U.S./Mexico border. This is after refusing to process asylum claims, which is a separate violation of national and international law.
Ferencz went on to say,
“I knew the Statue of Liberty. I came under the Statue of Liberty as an immigrant.”
His designation of the policy as a crime against humanity is significant because of Ferencz’s history and because, in theory, Trump and the members of his administration who approved/ implemented and defended the policy in court could be prosecuted for crimes against humanity by any country on the basis of universal jurisdiction.
The theory allows courts to prosecute any individual for serious violations of international criminal law. Crimes against humanity qualify as a serious violation of international criminal law.
We already knew the family separation policy, was designed to be a deterrent, by the Administration’s own admission.
We already knew it’s un-American, cruel, inhumane, morally repugnant because the “deterrence” was directed at a specific group of people: South Americans who came here to exercise their human right to seek asylum.
The Trump administration never had a plan to reunite the families and therefore had no intention to do so.
In fact, the administration is trying to circumvent the right to due process, which is not dependent on a person’s legal status. The administration tried to deport a woman and her daughter who were in the midst of challenging a DOJ policy to “expedite the removal of asylum seekers who fail to prove their cases and excludes domestic and gang violence as justification for granting asylum in the United States”.
Now we have a lawyer who tried international crimes identifying the policy for what it is: a crime against humanity.