Donald Trump is one of the worst human beings to have ever lived, and that’s not an opinion; that’s a fact he reaffirmed himself this past weekend, when he finally commented on the two children who recently died in federal immigration custody. His response wasn’t to express sympathy or even a shred of remorse about children dying on his government’s watch, but instead to blame his political opponents.
“Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies,” he tweeted, falsely claiming that “the two children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol. The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn’t given her water in days.”
Lies, lies, and more lies. “The children cleared initial U.S. health screenings,” the Associated Press reported, “and one of them was in the U.S. for five days before suddenly showing signs of illness.” The family of Jakelin Ameí Rosmery Caal Maquin said the seven-year-old was healthy before being detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), eating and drinking “fine as she was traveling through Mexico.”
The family of Felipe Gomez Alonzo told the AP that the boy “was well and eating chicken after arriving at the U.S. border,” with CBP officials recording 23 “welfare checks” that noted "no concern about the boy’s health.” Felipe spent six days getting shuffled from cold facility to cold facility before getting seriously sick while in custody, ultimately dying on Christmas Eve. He was just eight years old.
Trump hasn’t been alone in being a shitty person incapable of a modicum of basic human decency. During an appearance on state-television news, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen blamed Jakelin’s dad for her death, claiming that she “cannot stress [enough] how dangerous this journey is.”
But the fact is that it’s the administration she works for that’s purposefully forcing people to cross in more desolate and dangerous areas, because agents are being allowed to illegally block ports of entry. “By turning asylum seekers away, either by telling them to come back another time or that processing facilities were full, the administration, ironically, encouraged some to instead cross between border points,” said Eleanor Acer of Human Rights Watch.
Trump can rage-tweet all he wants, but it won’t stop the truth from coming out, following the DHS inspector general announcing that the office was investigating the death of Jakelin. House Democrats, set to take over in just days, have also called on the DHS inspector general to investigate Felipe’s death. House Democrats will also be conducting their own investigations.
“The tragic death of an innocent child on Christmas Day breaks the hearts of all,” Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi said in a statement following Felipe’s death. “We all have a moral responsibility to ensure all children of God are treated with compassion and decency. The death now of two children in U.S. custody is unconscionable.”