The US government detained more than 69,000 migrant children last year in the course of its brutal family separation policy. There's no guarantee these kids will ever be reunited with their parents; in fact, some of them have already been put up for "adoption" (read: legalized kidnapping) after their parents were deported. Many of these adoption agencies are of course Christian organizations, who genuinely believe themselves to be acting from a compassionate, altruistic pro-life perspective.
This is not breaking news; nor is it necessarily unique to the Trump administration. But I was reminded of it as I scrolled through Twitter over the weekend:
ICYMI: Some asylum seekers who have given birth in custody were forced to hand over their newborns to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. We were unable to verify what happens to the children of women who lack access to legal help. https://t.co/3BcZF7HmmL
— Rewire.News (@Rewire_News) November 15, 2019
And for whatever reason, this reminder flagged another connection in the mind: the second season of the "Missing and Murdered" podcast, produced by CBC, the Canadian public broadcasting service.
Also known as "Finding Cleo," the 10-episode second season follows host Connie Walker as she tries to track down the truth about a deceased Cree girl named Cleo. According to Cleo's sister, Christine, all of the siblings in their family were forcefully taken from their First Nations home by Canadian child protective services. Somehow, Cleo ended up being adopted by a white Christian family in the United States until she was allegedly raped and murdered. Read the rest
After news broke last week that Google's latest head of national security policy engagement was Miles Taylor, former chief of staff to DHS undersecretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Google tried to calm its outraged staff by insisting that Taylor had nothing to do with Trump's Kids in Cages policy that shattered families forever and murdered innocent children, nor with Trump's racist ethnic cleansing Muslim Ban. Read the rest
Miles Taylor was chief of staff to DHS undersecretary Kirstjen Nielsen, publicly defending his boss's implementation of the #MuslimBan ethnic cleansing policy and helping to implement the family separation #KidsInCages policy. Read the rest
Last week, free software developer Seth Vargo pulled the plug on tools he made to work with software developed by his former employer Chef, in protest of Chef's ongoing contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency that has been implicated in crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing, family separation, and the deaths of children in its custody. Read the rest
The administration of President Donald Trump is today reported to be considering a plan to detain separated migrant children at Fort Benning, a military base in the state of Georgia. Read the rest
Kirstjen Nielsen was Trump's DHS Secretary, where she oversaw the performatively cruel practice of separating thousands of children from their parents, in a calculatedly shambolic and chaotic way, ensuring that many of them will never be reunited with their families. Read the rest
A ton of criticism, anger and pain has come from the family separation policy being enforced on the southern border of the United States. Few pieces of commentary on the subject nail the fine points of the topic with such humor and sadness as John Oliver's passionate rant against the inhuman practice on Last Week Tonight. Read the rest
Despite an uprising of Amazon employees over the use of the company's AI facial recognition program ("Rekognition") in law enforcement, the company is actively courting US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the hopes that it will use the wildly inaccurate technology. Read the rest
This is completely terrible. Trump's ICE squads are sending separated under-5 children back to countries of origin without telling the kids' families. This week, U.S. Immigration officials sent a 4-year-old separated child from the U.S. to Guatemala City, an extremely dangerous place, without even telling her relatives in Guatemala that she was coming home. Read the rest
According to the ACLU, the nightmare perpetuated against immigrants and refugees attempting to find safe harbor in the United States has taken a new, unexpected turn for the worse: the parents, separated from their children as part of the Trump administration's drive to make migration into the United States as miserable as possible, are refusing to be reunited with their children. The reason is absolutely heartbreaking:
Immigrant parents separated from their children by the Trump administration and returned to their homes are refusing to be reunited with their children because their countries are so dangerous, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union told a court on Friday.
Gelernt said parents who refused to be reunited tended to have older children who could be recruited by violent gangs if they returned home. In addition, some children have relatives in the United States and are unlikely to end up in foster care.
The ACLU contacted parents in Central America of 162 children and said 109 refused reunification, according to a court filing.
According to Reuters, Gelernt recently spent time in Guatamala attempting to help parents separated from their kids by U.S. Immigration officials to reunite their families. Of the 300 parents that Gelernt spoke to, roughly two-thirds preferred to let their kids take their chances in the United States where they'd have a greater expectation of safety and prosperity.
I'm not a parent, so I can't even begin to imagine the sort of painful parental devotion it would take to leave a child behind, in the name of keeping them safe, in a country that despises me enough to have torn my family apart rather than providing them with refuge from harm. Read the rest
The official story of the Trump administration's family separation policy is that it came about as a result of "zero tolerance" in which every person who could be charged with a crime would be, and that meant that parents were arrested too, and since the parents were going to jail, their kids had to be held somewhere. Read the rest