Imagine, if you will, your child being torn out of your arms at, say, age 5, and then not seeing him again until he is 7 or 8 years old. You did nothing wrong, he did nothing wrong, but this is how we welcome you to the “great” United States of America. We take your child, then we lock you up in one place, throw your kid in a cage and forget where we put him. Finally, after a couple of years, we get it all sorted out and … here’s your kid back … hope you enjoyed your visit.Last June, Judge Dana M. Sabraw ordered the reunification of children and parents who had been separated under the Trump administration policy. Ten months ago. Since then, some 2,800 children have been reunited with their parents, however a group of separated families including possibly as many as 2,000 children was unaccounted for because the government lacked an effective tracking system. Even after Judge Sabraw’s order that the government cease separating children from their families, another 245 children were taken from their parents. But the government let the ball drop when it came to record-keeping, so there is speculation that the number may, in fact, be much higher than 245.On Friday, the Department of Justice filed court documents stating that it will take at least a year to review about 47,000 cases of unaccompanied children taken into government custody between July 1, 2017 and June 25, 2018. Why? Because record-keeping was shoddy, or perhaps non-existent. Because nobody cared enough about these children to take time to even find out who they were. Because the people currently responsible for running this nation care only about people whose skin is white.
The government said it would apply a statistical analysis to about 47,000 children who were referred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement and subsequently discharged. After that, the government said it would manually review the case records of the children who appeared to have the highest probability of being part of the separated families. Officials estimated that the process would take at least one year and potentially two. In explaining the reason for such an arduous process, the government said United States Customs and Border Protection did not collect specific data on migrant family separations before April 2018.What??? Did they not think it would ever be necessary to figure out who these kids were and where they belonged, such as with their parents? Did they just hope the children would disappear, and that the parents would forget about them?
In the court filing, Jonathan White, a commander with the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, wrote that identifying this group of children presented new challenges because they were already discharged from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, meaning the government “lacks access” to them. One has to wonder if the government even knows quite where these children are.
The government also stated that they would have to rely on computerized statistical analyses, for manually reviewing each of nearly 50,000 cases would “overwhelm” the resources of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. It didn’t overwhelm their resources to take the kids, did it? These are human lives we’re talking about here, not Wheat Thins!!! Somebody is seriously lacking functional brain cells in our government, not to mention a heart!Last year, for a few weeks, the story of the children separated from their parents and kept in questionable conditions was in the news every day. It was front and center in our minds and we … well, most of us anyway … were appalled and horrified. Then, Judge Sabraw issued his ruling, the government partly complied, and the story receded into the background to be replaced by other abominations of the Trump regime. But the story is not over … not by a long shot. Meanwhile, these children are undoubtedly suffering both physical and emotional damage that may last a lifetime. Is this, then, what Trump meant when he said he was going to “make America great”? Sorry, Donnie, but in my book this makes America pretty darn lousy.
When Judge Sabraw issued his order that the children be returned, he said, “The hallmark of a civilized society is measured by how it treats its people and those within its borders.” It would appear that we are not, contrary to popular belief, a “civilized society”.