“The Trump administration says it would require extraordinary effort to reunite what may be thousands of migrant children who have been separated from their parents and, even if it could, the children would likely be emotionally harmed.” – Associated Press, 02 February 2019
The first thing that comes to mind is … let’s get somebody to ‘remove’ Trump’s youngest (known) son, Barron, and then say we cannot likely return him. I wonder if Trump would just shrug his shoulders and say, “Oh well,” as he obviously expects the parents of those stolen immigrant children to do? In truth, it might be a kindness to Baron, for just look at how Trump’s other children have turned out.
According to Jonathan White, who leads the Health and Human Services Department’s efforts to reunite migrant children with their parents …
“It would destabilize the permanency of their existing home environment and could be traumatic to the children.”
Where was the concern about the trauma to the children when they were unconscionably stolen from their parents? Where was the concern when they were dragged, screaming and crying, from the arms of the only caregivers they had ever known?
The reality is that the government did a piss-poor job of record-keeping and now has no earthly idea where a vast majority of these children have landed. They didn’t even know how many children they had separated from their parents and greatly underestimated the number. They still don’t know, but Health and Human Services’ assistant inspector general, Ann Maxwell, said that the number of separated children was certainly larger than the 2,737 listed by the government in court documents. They didn’t even keep records!!!
People, these are lives we are talking about here, not electric light bulbs! One does not simply take children from their parents, put them into cages, and then dispose of them willy-nilly without so much as a thought to remembering who went where!!!
“The department’s inspector general report didn’t have a precise count, but Maxwell said staff estimated it to be in the thousands.”
You may remember in June that Judge Dana Sabraw ordered all children held in U.S. custody to be returned to their parents, an order that still has not been completely fulfilled. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is requesting that Judge Sabraw amend that order to include children who were released to sponsors before his initial ruling. A hearing is scheduled for February 21st. ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said …
“The Trump administration’s response is a shocking concession that it can’t easily find thousands of children it ripped from parents and doesn’t even think it’s worth the time to locate each of them.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) claims that to review the 47,083 cases in an effort to track down these children would require too much time, too many man-hours. Seriously??? We place a cost on the value of a child’s life and that cost isn’t worth hiring extra staff??? The department claims that 90% of these children were released to ‘close relatives’. I don’t believe them. How, after all, can they make that claim when they admittedly do not know where the children went?
On January 4th, The Guardian reported that the U.S. has stopped cooperating with the United Nations’ investigators over potential human rights violations occurring inside the U.S.:
Quietly and unnoticed, the state department has ceased to respond to official complaints from UN special rapporteurs, the network of independent experts who act as global watchdogs on fundamental issues such as poverty, migration, freedom of expression and justice. There has been no response to any such formal query since 7 May 2018, with at least 13 requests going unanswered.
Nor has the Trump administration extended any invitation to a UN monitor to visit the US to investigate human rights inside the country since the start of Donald Trump’s term two years ago in January 2017. Two UN experts have made official fact-finding visits under his watch – the special rapporteurs on extreme poverty and privacy – but both were invited initially by Barack Obama, who hosted 16 such visits during his presidency.
Paradoxically, the Trump administration’s decision to shun the UN’s independent watchdogs places the US among a tiny minority of uncooperative states. There are very few countries that resist international oversight from UN special rapporteurs – one of them is North Korea.
Imagine, if you will, being a parent of a young child, living in a country where turmoil and violence are the norm. Imagine wanting to protect your child, wanting to give your little boy or girl a better life. You’ve heard that the U.S. is one of the ‘greatest’ countries in the world, the ‘land of opportunity’, so you give up everything you have, which is little enough, to make the long trek on foot to a place where you believe you and your child can live in safety, can carve out a life, can have a hope for the future. And then … suddenly, bright lights shine in your eyes, booming angry voices scream at you, guns are pointed at you, and your child is taken screaming and crying, while you are powerless. Imagine being told, then, that you will likely never see your child again because … “We don’t remember where we put him, and it’s just too much trouble to figure it out”.
This is the United States of America under Donald Trump.