[CONTENT WARNING: Trump’s barbarity towards children.]
At this very instant, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is depriving an 18-month-old child of his mother, separating the two in immigration detention. Mirian, a 29-year-old mother from Honduras, is currently detained in T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas, while her toddler is kept in a facility in San Antonio, some 120 miles away.
Their ordeal has already lasted two months.
They are just one of hundreds of families who are subjected to ICE’s brutal tactic of forcibly separating immigrant parents and children and on whose behalf the ACLU has brought a national class-action lawsuit. On Friday, The New York Times reported new data, estimating that more than 700 children have been taken from their parents since October, including more than 100 children under the age of 4.
My reaction when I heard this was much like Chris Hayes‘, extreme disgust and contempt. The situation should not be impossible in a rich democracy, and yet you can read the court transcripts for yourself. Here’s the government lawyer arguing that because it isn’t illegal to separate parents and children from asylum seekers, it’s A-OK; here’s the judge questioning if it’s current policy to force asylum seekers to hire lawyers to get their kids back, and the government lawyer confirming it is; and here’s the ACLU lawyer pleading with the judge about the state of these children:
Your honor, I understand the court’s hesitation to want to go too far, but this is one of those situations where we really need this court to act to help these children. They are already traumatized from leaving their home countries in a matter of minutes, fleeing for their life. They get here and then they hear they are going to be taken away from their mother or father.These affidavits, your honor, are unbearable. And I know your honor gets the emotional aspect. And, you know, like the American Academy of Pediatrics have said, the psychological stress, anxiety, depression associated with separation from a parent would follow the children well after the immediate period of separation.Then one of the doctors goes on to say, in the O. declaration at paragraph 5, children remain in a constant state of fear and worry regarding the well-being of their parent which can affect their concentration, sleep, overall functioning. I mean, these are — this is just — what I hear from the government is “there could potentially be a reason to separate them;” not “let’s figure out how not to separate.”
So your honor brought up Ms. L.’s case. Four months went by, we had to file a lawsuit. As the Guggenheim declaration points out — he is the leading child expert in the country. There are so many ways to verify parentage. A little girl who is screaming, “please don’t take me away from my mommie,” they didn’t need a DNA test. But of course they could have done it in a matter of hours, as the Guggenheim declaration points out.
None of these people are being told. They even have birth certificates, and the government is simply saying, “well, we don’t believe you.”
But the true blame lies with Republicans; Trump’s their own boy, the product of a slow takeover by extremists. They are hesitant to oppose him, and some are happy to obstruct justice on his behalf. Powerful Republicans are thankful to Trump. Been keeping up with all the hullabaloo around Michael Cohen? Despite weeks of controversy and indictments hovering over his head, he’s still an employee of the Republican Party. And as Republicans control the Presidency, both the Senate and House, plus are rapidly taking over the judiciary, they control the state and thus represent all Americans.