For the past couple of weeks, the key word in the news is “ripped.” Children are being “ripped” from their parent’s arms. Good people need help, and we’re being horrible to them. The emotions the verbiage brings up, that it intends to get across, works up until every single post and reporter uses the same description. It makes me suspicious. This seems a good time to follow my own advice and look past the initial questions that pop up in my mind, and the emotions such claims evoke, and dig for some facts.
Paul Manafort went to jail last week because he, aside from the charges he already faces, attempted to tamper with witnesses. He broke the law. Many times, in many ways. He will now pay for it. This seems reasonable to me.
The first argument that comes up about the kids aged infant to 17 years being taken from their parents, and make no mistake, this is happening, is “they’re breaking the law.” Paul Manafort intentionally broke a lot of laws intending to profit (conspiracy, money laundering, making false statements, obstruction of justice, etc.), and it’s worked for a long time. He’s made a bunch of money, taken from a lot of people, and there are a many charges, most quite serious. A person coming across the border is possibly committing a misdemeanor offense which can carry a fine and up to six months in jail. Notice these specifically mention the place and time where people enter:
Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both. (8 U.S. Code § 1325 – Improper entry by alien, Cornell Law)
The people we’re seeing in the news are, for the most part, entering at designated places at correct times. They’re seeking asylum, fleeing terrible violence in their home countries. To come to a US port of entry and ask for asylum is a well-recognized legal process under domestic and international law; they’re doing exactly what they are supposed to do, hoping for safety for themselves and their families. This is NOT a crime.
Though certainly some don’t enter as asylum-seekers, this is a misdemeanor. Trespassing and disorderly conduct are also misdemeanors if you’re looking for a comparison when it comes to punishing people for this crime. We don’t tear families apart for such crimes. Prior to 45’s inauguration, families were detained together, sent back immediately together or paroled into the USA. Back to the drawing board on that argument.
Another argument I’m hearing is “they knew it was illegal, so it’s their own fault they are endangering their families.” Again, they’re fleeing danger. They’re trying to save themselves and/or their families, and they’re seeking asylum here which is legal; it’s not a crime. They believe they are removing their families from danger. And America used to be relatively reasonable when it came to human rights. Other than during the torture issues (arising in the W. Bush years), we’ve been on the United Nations human rights council, that is, until the end of last week when we started threatening to quit as early as tomorrow. They aren’t okay with America separating children from parents and locking up the little children for indefinite periods of time god-knows-where. . . Oops, there’s that emotion again. Facts. Stick with the facts, for now.
I’m trying very hard to forget that Trump wanted to register and track Muslims, by the way.
I’m trying very hard to forget that Trump goes out of his way to call immigrants from Mexico, from Central and South America, “animals” or “rapists.” Hitler did that, too, called people “animals” or “rats.”
Be careful when looking for photos of the kids in the concentration camps. Check dates and information on photos. America’s photos are already in there, of course, but we’re not the first to do this kind of thing, to cage refugees and eventually convert the camps to concentration camps. Germany wasn’t the first either. Whether it’s the Herero and Namaqua, Boer women and children, Afrikaners, Jews, whichever persecuted minorities, my point is we know better. Or we should by now or what is the point of learning history hoping not to repeat mistakes? It’s 2018. There’s a reason history isn’t kind to the unkind. We know better.
This is not a small problem, and it’s not going away soon. According to an anonymous DHS official nearly 2,000 children had been separated from 1,940 adults from April 19 through May 31 this year. Even though it’s obviously a GOP policy announced by Jeff Sessions, the president has lately taken to blaming the issue of atrocities at the border on – you guessed it – Democrats. Stephen Miller, Nazi sympathizer and all around vile human being, says their decision to implement this policy was simple. Speaker Paul Fucking Ryan blames their new policy on a 1997 settlement, but then, he’s a lying liar who lies, too, so whatever. The press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, says it’s “Biblical to enforce the law,” but there is no law for this so no idea what she’s talking about. There is no law that says we can or should take children away from their parents, and there is no mention of it in the Bible, either, not that it matters. The Bible tells you to beat your spouse and kill your children, how to treat your slaves and concubines. And the press secretary who supposedly speaks for the president tried to use her Bible to justify atrocities committed in our names. It’s a damned good thing that cruel and contradictory religious trash has nothing to do with our government, huh?
It’s no wonder the GOP isn’t really working on ending this. At a time when we desperately need to get moving on some prison reform, it’s lucrative to imprison even more people, pay to house the kids. We, the taxpayers, are funding this mistreatment of human beings.
“Under the Trump administration, we’re seeing the detention system balloon,” said Clara Long, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. With arrests up by 30 percent, ICE has requested $2.7 billion to increase detention capacity by 25 percent. “It is one of the fastest growing sectors of the carceral state,” said Kelly Lytle Hernandez, an immigration historian at UCLA.
Detention is big business. ICE relies on private prison companies for roughly 70 percent of its long-term lockups. After the election, the stock prices of the two largest private prison companies, Geo Group and CoreCivic, nearly doubled. – The Atlantic
Taxpayers pay to build these camps. Taxpayers pay to house, feed, clothe, raise each child we kidnap. I wonder who else – Trump’s buddies? – is profiting from this now.
Even first lady Melania Trump, herself in the country illegally for a time, says “we need to be a country that follows all laws,” but also one “that governs with heart.” If memory serves, she started a “Chain” – her sister and later her parents. But 45 thinks this is bad. . . unless the immigrants are white? beautiful? agree with anything he says?
As for his Wall of Hate which is, apparently, part of why they’re taking hostages, the drug argument is more bullshit. 95%-97% of the drugs coming into the U.S. are coming by water, via non-commercial boats, container ships, fishing boats, speed boats and even submarines.
There you have it in 45’s tweet above, government-sanctioned child abuse. He’s holding these people, these little children, hostage so that he can have his Wall of Hate. I say if he wants an ugly wall to slap his ugly name on he can pay for it himself; the United States of America does not negotiate with terrorists.
And each of these children we are taking in to our system to keep will likely need treatment for psychological damage we’re inflicting by kidnapping them. Are we making more terrorists out of good people whose parents were doing the best they could to protect their families? Are we sowing the seeds of future criminals by creating these orphans? We have to pay for all of their care and treatment now. If they were here illegally they wouldn’t qualify for any aid, but if we’re holding them hostage, we’re responsible for everything, from food and clothing to medical treatment to education, all of their care until they’re old enough to be released from custody. That is, assuming the GOP isn’t planning to keep their hostages to be workers in their camps. I put nothing past them. After all, “Arbeit macht frei.”
The “crisis on the southern border” argument is bullshit, too. There is a crisis there, but it’s a humanitarian crisis. We are doing a terrible thing, separating children from their parents. It’s likely we’re doing permanent damage to these young people. Many will come out okay eventually, but some won’t. This argument that we have high amounts of people entering illegally all of the sudden is pure bullshit. Even if it were true, it would not ever, in any universe, justify what we’re doing to these children, to these families. Crossings are at historic lows. This is an important point to remember.
Can’t justify this terrorism with a law. There isn’t one in the USA, though there are laws to protect the rights of all against this sort of treatment. Can’t justify this with a “holy” book because we don’t play that in the USA and no holy book would ever support this. Ever. Can’t blame this on the Democrats. Democrats want immigration reform, DACA, etc. This is obviously not their work. And using the word “ripped” does apply in most of these situations. The free press is using accurate terminology, perhaps not literally, but figuratively.
We cannot let this continue. We must keep talking about it, keep opposing it, keep demonstrating against it. In 1939, Germans overall were indifferent to concentration camps or knew little about them. Propaganda kept the populace uninformed and unconcerned. Camps and the people who suffered and died in them were hidden away so that people couldn’t see what their government was doing. Don’t ever let these people, our government, hide what they’re doing. Demand explanations. Demand access. Demand to know who is doing what and what law and/or policy they are basing their actions on and on who’s authority. Facts matter. Knowledge is power.
Good people know this is wrong. I don’t mean the “good people” hanging out with the Nazis and KKK in Charlottesville. I mean actual good people; Americans. We keep saying this isn’t us, but this is us. This is our GOP pushing hate and fear, taking hostages, on our behalf. It’s time for good people to stand against this cruelty, these atrocities, to stand for those who can’t for themselves or for their children.
(Thanks so much for taking the time with me to understand this important issue especially on Father’s Day. I started the post on the 17th -and used that date for the post- but completed it in the wee hours of the 18th)
Link: “Laura Bush: Separating children from their parents at the border ‘breaks my heart‘” – Laura Bush for The Washington Post
Link: “‘So What? Maybe It Is a Concentration Camp’” – by Jeremy Raff at The Atlantic
Link: “What you need to know about the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy” – by Miriam Valverde at Politifact
Link: Attorney General Issues Memo Announcing a Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry, Dated April 6, 2018: “The Attorney General issued a memo to federal prosecutors along the southwest border, immediately adopting ‘a zero-tolerance policy for all offenses referred for prosecution under section 1325(a). This policy shall supersede all existing policies.'”
Link: Attorney General Sessions Delivers Remarks Discussing the Immigration Enforcement Actions of the Trump Administration, San Diego, CA, Monday, May 7, 2018
Link: Back In Time – by E. Brooks at Gray Matters.
Link: Sides – by E. Brooks at Gray Matters.
Link to original tweet from Brandon Horan.
Link to original ransom tweet from 45.
Link to photo of the Buchenwald boy, Josef Schleifstein. I don’t have a way to credit the photo of little boy number 47 from Honduras. If you find it, please let me know.
“Arbeit macht frei” is a German phrase meaning “work sets you free.” The slogan is known for appearing on the entrance of Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps.
#GoodPeople #FamiliesBelongTogether #AbolishICE #FactsMatter