Header update 3: Nothing has made me more sick than learning that ICE is not keeping a record of which children belong with which parents. It means they consider these children disposable. That should chill you to the bone.
Others are working to make these hashtags trend on Twitter: #WherearetheGirls #WherearetheBabies #WherearetheChildren Please help.
UPDATE 1 for the head of the diary: keep raising hell because it’s working. Kirstjen Nielsen has changed her tune and Fox & Public Enemies are sugar-coating; these are blinks. They’re scrambling. If Murfster is right, substantial numbers of evangelicals are passing the test of humanity.
Header update 2: Visit G2geek’s diary here for plans, actions and demands that will have major impact.
So far the only child prisons reporters and child rights advocates (including Dem members of Congress) have been allowed to enter are holding boys aged 10-17.
Why is that? Why not let the public see the girls and the young children, if they are being treated as well as claimed?
The most innocuous reason I can think of is that ICE in its wisdom thinks that older boys are the least likely cohort to draw public sympathy. It’s easier to criminalize a male teenager in your mind than a female teenager or a child of either sex under ten.
Also, something that the Southwest Key whistle-blower Antar Davidson pointed out: much of this population, especially the older ones, are genuine unaccompanied minors, i.e. youth who crossed the border by themselves and knew the procedure, therefore expected to be detained. They are therefore in a much calmer state than the minors who were torn from parents, and therefore photograph more innocuously.
But there are other possible reasons I can think of to hide the 10-17-year-old girls and younger children which are worse.
- They might give accounts of being sexually assaulted or harassed by guards, staff, ICE officers, etc.
- They are more upset and showing more strain than the teenage boys because many more of them were torn from parents and siblings than came unaccompanied.
- For the same reason, more of them are suicidal.
- Overcrowding (note: we have no way of knowing that those prisons that have been opened to visits were not purposely underpopulated compared to the usual)
- Some of them are pregnant. As anyone who has been pregnant knows, it’s a state that makes you feel unusually vulnerable, as whatever happens to you in effect happens to your unborn child as well, and you feel that keenly. How are these young mothers-to-be being treated? Are they being provided proper prenatal care? Are they being fed sufficiently to ensure proper fetal nourishment? Are they being treated with respect or being judged and derided for being pregnant? If they are close to going into labour, are they being summarily deported to ensure their children are not born on American soil and so won’t have the rights of American citizens?
- Some are likely pregnant involuntarily as a result of rape. Are they being given the choice of abortion? If they are, they are being made to face that without the love and support of their mothers and fathers. Are they receiving proper post-rape counseling, or being blamed and shamed, or accused of lying about having been raped?
Children under 10
- Chaos. Davidson attested to that happening in the shelter-cum-private-prison he worked in before quitting in disgust, citing children running up and down corridors, screaming, crying for their moms and throwing furniture.
- The children’s agony is being expressed freely and will draw public sympathy for them
- Understaffing resulting in overly low adult-to-child ratios will be obvious. Davidson reported this as well, and that the existing staff were suffering as a result, meaning they’re more likely to take out their frustrations on the children.
- Children still in diapers are obviously not having them changed frequently enough
- Children too young to self-bathe are obviously not being bathed frequently enough
- Children too young to self-feed are obviously not being fed frequently enough
- Because staff are forbidden to touch the children and they are forbidden to touch each other, the ones young enough to require touch to maintain health are starting to fail to thrive
- Children are showing signs of corporal punishment, and/or there is other evidence of abusive “disciplinary” measures
The next step is for reporters and advocates to demand to be let inside the prisons where the girls and young children are being held and hidden. On short notice, and picked randomly, so that evidence of abuse in addition to parent-deprivation can’t be cleaned up and concealed.
Keep up the pressure, everybody! Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s bald-faced lie of a denial was a blink, an implicit admission that state-sponsored terrorism in the form of kidnapping children from parents is wrong.
I’m a SPWM (single parent with mortgage) who would have wanted to tear out the throat of anyone who took my sons away from me when they were minors, and who earns every dollar I earn by writing. Having to replace my computer is leaving me short for the month. If you’d like to help keep it economically feasible for me to write diaries like this one on DKos, please consider sending a donation my way. Suggested amount $3. THANK YOU to all who have done so already. Your generosity humbles me.
Clio2 in a comment suggested what I should have thought of — when calling your Rep & Senators, specifically ask about where the girls and children under 10 are. Ask about staff ratios, staff qualifications, comforting with touch — all the things small children need.
More from Clio in another comment:
Just going to throw some links down:
This policy, declared not not exist, has been in the works secretly since last year……and was designed for expansion to immigrants already in the U.S.
As of February, women and children were being placed in cold, filthy holding cells, though at least they were together.
Employee who quit child internment facility reports workers there came from jobs like waiting tables, retail and construction, got one week of training, are very low paid.
My fear, Karen, is exemplified by Davidson’s quitting … there is potentially a self-selection going on in staff. Bit by bit, the staff will trend to those who are supportive of these despicable policies/actions. And, not quitting will be those who aren’t just able to tolerate the abusiveness but who revel in it. And, that might well (is likely to?) include sadists, pedophiles, etc …
Here’s what happens when monsters rule: Texas deputy sexually abused undocumented immigrant girl, 4, sheriff says (CBS, 6/18/18):
An off-duty Bexar County Sheriff’s Department deputy has been arrested on a felony charge involving sexual assault of a child, reports CBS San Antonio affiliate KENS-TV. Jose Nunez, 47, is a detention deputy who’s been with the department ten years.
Sheriff Javier Salazar says the victim’s mother is an undocumented immigrant, and the suspect took advantage of the mother’s fear of deportation…
Separating the kids from the parents makes it easier for them to do this and to get away with it. Therefore more likely to do it.
From kharma in a comment. These kids are getting flown to other parts of the country in the dead of night. Sorry non-Twitter people, the story is in the pics.
MSNBC Reporter this Jacob Soboroff in McAllen Texas am: (unofficial transcript, by me):
…the photos you’re looking at now are from the Brownsville facility that’s run by HHS…that’s the second step in the journey…
What’s going on here is a massive stress on the system. Border Patrol agents inside will tell you, because of the increasing number of kids that are being separated from their parents, that agents are stressed. There are only four licensed social workers for all of the young kids that are taken from their parents…
So, you could have a mother that is taken away from their two year old son or daughter, and for 24 hours hypothetically, that child could be inside this facility by themselves and you’ve got to rely on one of those social care workers to change their diaper or comfort (them) or frankly any of the things that frankly, I as a parent of a 2 and ½ year old have to do with my son. It makes you sick, Steph, to see it, when you’re inside there—and there’s no sign of this letting up anytime soon…
Mostly leaving kids under 5 with their parents? Bullshit. Per AP:
An advocate who spent several hours in the facility Friday said she was deeply troubled by what she found.
Michelle Brane, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission, met with a 16-year-old girl who had been taking care of a young girl for three days. The teen and others in their cage thought the girl was 2 years old.
“She had to teach other kids in the cell to change her diaper,” Brane said.
Brane said that after an attorney started to ask questions, agents found the girl’s aunt and reunited the two. It turned out that the girl was actually 4 years old. Part of the problem was that she didn’t speak Spanish, but K’iche, a language indigenous to Guatemala.
“She was so traumatized that she wasn’t talking,” Brane said. “She was just curled up in a little ball.”
Brane said she also saw officials at the facility scold a group of 5-year-olds for playing around in their cage, telling them to settle down. There are no toys or books.
But one boy nearby wasn’t playing with the rest. According to Brane, he was quiet, clutching a piece of paper that was a photocopy of his mother’s ID card.
“The government is literally taking kids away from their parents and leaving them in inappropriate conditions,” Brane said. “If a parent left a child in a cage with no supervision with other 5-year-olds, they’d be held accountable.”
Dr. Colleen Kraft, the head of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that she visited a small shelter in Texas recently, which she declined to identity. A toddler inside the 60-bed facility caught her eye — she was crying uncontrollably and pounding her little fists on mat.
Staff members tried to console the child, who looked to be about 2 years old, Kraft said. She had been taken from her mother the night before and brought to the shelter.
The staff gave her books and toys — but they weren’t allowed to pick her up, to hold her or hug her to try to calm her. As a rule, staff aren’t allowed to touch the children there, she said.
(Like the no-touch rule is going to stop the pedophiles.)
The awesome Charles Blow wrote an op-ed for the NYTimes entitled Trump and the Baby-Snatchers. Led to the title trending on Twitter. Lots more stories and pictures there, grit your teeth and SHARE THEM EVERYWHERE. This is what Germans could NOT do in the 1930s: bear witness to the evil they saw and make sure everyone else saw it too. But we can!
Rep. Maloney talked to five dads on the worst Father’s Day of their lives. Men who Stateprop (Fox) and the lying, illegitimate Secretary of Homeland Security will call actors. Click the tweet to get the whole thread with their stories.
As of now, we do not have direct evidence that any asylum-seeking or other immigrant children torn from their parents have been trafficked or that there are plans to do so. However, this is true:
The Russian mob that Trump is connected with is the largest organized crime organization in the world and their top two core businesses are drugs & human trafficking, the later profiting $100,000,000/yr.
The things Trump & his business partners use children for are commercial lines of their slavery business: sex and labor.
The day to day details of Trump’s carnage are part of his process of triumphing over our any pretenses of values or morals. When it’s so bad you look away, you either stop looking or have to fight. Fighting men who fuck & sell little girls is the fight of this generation. Yes, where are the girls?
I called both my Senate (GOP) critters, and managed to remain relatively coherent.
A young (female) staffer was answering the phone at the DC office of our appointed-in-place-of-Thad Cochran (R-MS) — Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.
To close my short statement, I asked if Sen. Hyde-Smith was a mother. The staffer said yes, she is. I then asked was she (the staffer) familiar with the group Boko Haram in Africa. She said that she knew who they were. I asked how US government-sanctioned removal of young girls from their parents (and then “losing” them) was any different from the actions of Boko Haram.
The staffer actually stifled what sounded like a gasp — as if she had suddenly made the connection. Maybe no one had mentioned that before.
After a couple of seconds of silence (which is highly unusual from that side of the conversation) her voice was a bit different with the boilerplate – she hesitated, and said, “Uh…I’ll pass your message on to the Senator”.
I said, “Please do, and be sure you mention what I said about Boko Haram”.
Maybe we are making an impact. And it sounded like the phones in the office were ringing off the hooks…
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.