Months after the Trump administration announced its intention to separate asylum seekers and other immigrants from their children, the media and Democratic lawmakers are shining a light on the evil acts of this administration. The Trump administration has repeatedly said they are tearing children away from their parents to punish them for seeking asylum or trying to immigrate to the US.
The Boston Globe reports that Border Patrol agents are lying to parents, telling them their children are being taken for a bath. Agents of the US government then kidnap these children and send them thousands of miles away from their parents.
The Trump administration’s policy of splitting up families is creating a burgeoning population of dislocated and frightened children, held in makeshift detention centers near the border, including one in a former Walmart, or scattered in shelters and foster homes across the country. As the children and parents experience the fallout of forced separation by US authorities, advocates are struggling to get even basic information about the location and status of these detainees. [...]
Aleman-Bendiks, the public defender, said several of her clients have told her their children were taken from them by Border Patrol agents who said they were going to give them a bath. As the hours passed, it dawned on the mothers the kids were not coming back.
“It’s incredible,” she said. “I just can’t believe what’s happening here.” — www.bostonglobe.com/...
Leave it to Border Patrol and ICE to turn children’s bath-time into a nightmare.
The Globe also reports on the Kafkaesque nightmare Trump/Sessions/Kelly have intentionally created for parents who want to find their children:
In late May, separated parents in McAllen were given a number to call HHS and try to locate their children. It was the wrong number. Last week, parents were given a handwritten note telling them to call ICE — not HHS — if they wanted information about how to reunite with their children. But parents did not have access to phones at the time, rendering the number useless. — www.bostonglobe.com/...
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) visited an immigrant detention center near Seattle where several immigrants and asylum-seekers have been sent:
The women were in three separate concrete pods when she visited, and Jayapal said she and an interpreter first asked them to respond to questions by raising their hands. She asked how many were mothers who had been forcibly separated from their children: More than half of the women raised their hands. Some said that their children had been as young as 12 months — and many no longer knew where their children were being held.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking. And I’ve been doing immigration-rights work for almost two decades. I am not new to these stories,” Jayapal told The Washington Post on Sunday. “I will tell you there was not a dry eye in the house. … Some of them heard their children screaming for them in the next room. Not a single one of them had been allowed to say goodbye or explain to them what was happening.” — www.washingtonpost.com/...
The Hill also covered Rep. Jayapal’s visit:
“They literally never had a chance to say goodbye to their children. Some of the children are as young as 6, perhaps younger. These women have no idea, in the vast majority of these cases, where their children are,” she added. — thehill.com/...
Rep. Jayapal released a searing public statement on her visit:
“Of the 206 immigrants being held there, 174 are women. I spent almost three hours meeting with the women, almost all of whom are asylum seekers. They come from 16 different countries with the largest numbers from Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Over a third of the women were mothers who had been forcibly separated from their children, who range in age from 1-year-old to teenagers. The vast majority of the mothers have not spoken with their children in weeks and they have no idea where they are. Most have been held in detention for more than two weeks and many for over a month.
“They should not be held in federal prison, but the women I spoke to said SeaTac is the first place they feel they’ve been treated as human beings – thanks to the standards in place at government-owned and operated facilities, rather than the privately contracted facilities of DHS.
“The women talked of being held in Border Patrol facilities that they termed the ‘dog pound,’ because of inhumane fenced cages, and the ‘ice box,’ because temperatures are frigid and detainees are given no blankets or mats. They also spoke of lack of access to food and water, and said they suffered humiliation and verbal abuse from border agents who called them ‘filthy’ and ‘stinky,’ and told them that their ‘families would not exist anymore’ and that they would “never see their children again.’
“Also extremely troubling were the accounts of mass prosecutions, where individuals were processed through the court system in groups of up to 100 at a time with no ability to speak individually to a judge. — jayapal.house.gov/...
The Washington Post has another story covering the process immigration courts are using and the impact it is having on parents.
Juana Francisca Bonilla de Canjura wiped tears from her face in the courtroom as she listened to the proceedings through a translation headset. In her hands, she clutched the passports of her two daughters: Ingrid, 10, and Fatima, 12. They had come together from El Salvador, then were separated at a hielera. The bright blue documents were her only way of getting them back.
“I don’t have any idea where they are,” she’d told a Post reporter shortly before the hearing began. “Nobody knows anything. Nobody says anything — just lies. They said they were taking them for questioning, and we were only going to be apart for a moment. But they never came back.”
“What pains me is the thought they are suffering without me,” she said. As she spoke, a Border Patrol agent in green fatigues cut off the conversation.
“You can’t ask them about their families,” the agent told the reporter. “They are in my custody.” — www.washingtonpost.com/...
The only way to ensure this never happens again is to deliver swift justice on evil people like Trump, Sessions and Kelly, who openly relish tearing children away from parents. They should rot in jail, preferably for the rest of their lives.