In just the past year and a half, the Trump administration’s war on immigrants has perpetrated the following crimes against humanity:
- Created a phony university to entice undocumented immigrants;
- Suggested fortifying Trump’s racist border wall with a snake- or alligator-infested moat (after suggesting CBP shoot migrants in the legs);
- Refused to inoculate detained migrant families from deadly diseases;
- Ended deportation deferrals for immigrants suffering from serious medical conditions like cancer and HIV;
- Administered DNA testing to identify migrants posing as families;
- Disqualified legal immigrants relying on public assistance for green card eligibility;
- Committed what the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics characterized as “government-sanctioned child abuse”;
- Transferred $9.8 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster relief budget to ICE for more migrant detention camps.
- Engaged in nasally force-feeding at least half a dozen detainees engaged in hunger strikes;
- Penned hundreds behind chain-link razor wire fencing, forcing them to sleep on the ground in a temporary outdoor detention camp.
- Threatened to deport international university students enrolled in online classes, forcing many of them to opt for in-person instruction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s far from all.
Licensed Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) psychotherapists are violating migrant children’s trust by submitting confidential session notes to ICE, which then uses the information against the children in immigration court to deny them asylum status and deport them.
Several asylum seekers have died in CBP custody.
Two years ago we learned about refugee children in U.S. custody being injected with psychotropic drugs.
In August 2019, the Trump administration ramped up its war on immigrants when it proposed denying green cards or visas to immigrants who rely on public benefits like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Medicaid, and Section-8 housing.
Last month we learned about immigrant women detained in the private prison company LaSalle Corrections-owned Irwin County detention center in Georgia being subjected to involuntary hysterectomies.
But of course, who can ignore the administration’s child separation policy?
Last January, an Office of Inspector General (OIG) report revealed not only did the U.S. government separate thousands more children from their parents at the US-Mexico border than previously thought before Trump ended the policy in 2018.
It was separating them before authorities admitted a child separation policy existed.
This week, NBC News reported about American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) court filings claiming 545 migrant children’s parents cannot be located after 1,030 families were separated.
ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project deputy director, Lee Gelernt, explained:
“It is critical to find out as much as possible about who was responsible for this horrific practice while not losing sight of the fact that hundreds of families have still not been found and remain separated. There is so much more work to be done to find these families.”
The Trump administration, naturally, has an answer for this.
According to Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh, the reason these children can’t be reunited is because their parents do not want them back.
This was a contentious topic at Thursday’s presidential debate.
Former Vice President, Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, exclaimed:
“Parents were ripped—their kids were ripped from their arms and separated, and now they cannot find over 500 of sets of those parents and those kids are alone,” Biden said. “[With] nowhere to go. Nowhere to go.”
Trying to ascribe the practice to him and Barack Obama, Trump fired back, “Who made the cages?” before adding, “They [detained migrant children] are so well taken care of.”
Trump, his sycophants, and compliant Republicans consistently blame the odious policy on Obama and Biden.
Hours before signing the order to rescind the family separation policy two years ago, Trump defended it, claiming the Obama and Bush administrations also practiced it:
“This has been going on for 50 years—longer. This has been going on under President Obama, under President Bush, this has been going on for many many years. We are gonna see if we can solve it. This is not something that happened just now.”
While technically true, this is misleading.
According to Vox:
“It’s not that no family was ever separated at the border under the Obama administration. But former Obama administration officials specify that families were separated only in particular circumstances—for instance, if a father was carrying drugs—that went above and beyond a typical case of illegal entry…We don’t know how often that happened, but we know it was not a widespread or standard practice…Both presidents prosecuted many border crossers. But Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy created family separation.”
Migration Policy Institute policy analyst, Sarah Pierce, commented:
“Bush and Obama did not have policies that resulted in the mass separation of parents and children like we’re seeing under the current administration.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is unable to point to statistics regarding the number of children the Obama administration supposedly separated from their parents.
The numbers of apprehended adults referred for prosecution under President Obama is 21%, which does not account for children who may have been separated from their parents.
Here’s what defenders of the family separation policy are missing, though: asking “Who build the cages?” and insisting the policy was inherited from the previous administration, is implying the policy is wrong.
So, as president, shouldn’t Trump have come out publicly against it after taking office instead of doubling-down?
Besides, when has Donald Trump ever embraced anything the first African American president did?
Trump has spent his entire term trying–and at times succeeding–to erase his predecessor’s legacy.
Trump owns these missing children.
Image credit: www.youthvoices.live