An Associated Press report was issued on last week citing inhumane conditions at the U.S. southern border so, naturally, some Americans wanted to help.
According to The Texas Tribune, Austin Savage and five of his friends jumped into an SUV headed toward the border. Their vehicle was stocked with supplies, including over $340 worth of baby wipes, diapers, soap, toys, toothpaste, and other personal hygiene items.
When they arrived at the Clint Border Patrol facility, the group discovered the lobby was closed. Savage recalled that there were eight or 10 Border Patrol agents in the parking lot nearby, but none of them came by to assist the do-gooders.
“A good friend of mine is an immigration attorney, and he warned us that we were going to get rejected,” Savage said. “We were aware of that, but it’s just the idea of doing something as opposed to passively allowing this to occur.”
“It makes me feel powerless knowing there’s children taking care of toddlers and little kids,” said Gabriel Acuña. “Knowing what’s happening in your community and that you can’t give these kids supplies to clean or clothe themselves — it’s heartbreaking. For God’s sake, they’re kids, man.”
Just last week, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice argued in court that the government shouldn’t be required to give migrant children inside Border Patrol detention facilities toothbrushes, soap, towels or showers.
A legal team interviewed 60 children at the facility near El Paso that has become the latest place where attorneys say young migrants are describing neglect and mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. government. They are now warning the public that kids are taking care of kids, and there’s inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station.
Data obtained by The Associated Press showed that on Wednesday there were three infants in the station, all with their teen mothers, along with a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds and a 3-year-old. There are dozens more under 12. Fifteen have the flu, and 10 more are quarantined.
Three girls told attorneys they were trying to take care of the 2-year-old boy, who had wet his pants and had no diaper and was wearing a mucus-smeared shirt when the legal team encountered him.
“A Border Patrol agent came in our room with a 2-year-old boy and asked us, ‘Who wants to take care of this little boy?’ Another girl said she would take care of him, but she lost interest after a few hours and so I started taking care of him yesterday,” one of the girls said in an interview with attorneys.
Watch the video below to see more firsthand.
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Pelosi to Trump: ‘You’re Scaring the Children’
CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump spoke on the phone for 12 minutes last week about how he’s “scaring” children everywhere.
Well, you can’t make this stuff up.
The topic of discussion during the phone meeting was Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation raids.
Ivanka Trump: We Were Trying to Save the Babies from Coyotes
Ana Navarro was a guest host on ABC’s The View on Friday and she didn’t mince words when it came to Trump’s crocodile tears.
“When Ivanka first came on the scene…I thought this was a great thing, I thought she’s going to soften up her father, is going to be a good, positive influence on her father,” Navarro said. “This act of, ‘I am vehemently against this, vehemently against that, but at the same time I remain in this complicit administration and I cash in and laugh all the way to the bank, getting patents in China, and selling stuff here and selling stuff there.’ The act is getting old.”
Commander Jonathan White of the U.S Public Health Service Commissioned Corps said 559 kids of the original 2,551 from separated families remain in custody.
In fact, he said he warned the Trump administration about the health and welfare pitfalls of separating families at the border, but to no avail.
“There’s no question that separation of children from parents entails significant potential for traumatic psychological injury to the child,” White said.
Still, Trump continued plowing her way through.
“I am the daughter of an immigrant, my mother grew up in communist Czech Republic, but we are a country of laws,” she said at Newseum. “She came to this country legally and we have to be very careful about incentivizing behavior that puts children at risk of being trafficked, at risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone. These are not easy issues, these are incredibly difficult issues and like the rest of the country, I experienced them actually in a very emotional way.”
Let’s make sure we save the children from coyotes. Because that’s the real issue here.
“Children were separated from their parents and referred as unaccompanied alien children when in fact they were accompanied,” White said.
Graphic: Recounts Regarding Conditions at U.S. Child Detention Centers
Democratic attorneys general in 17 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing that its family separation policy violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fifth Amendment.
Since the motion, the Trump administration has done little or nothing in the area of reuniting migrant families forcibly separated by the United States Government.
Now, a new harrowing account of conditions in the cages has been delivered to the court with approximately 900 pages of testimony describing in dire detail the inhumane conditions in detention facilities around the country.
The packet included feedback from child and immigration experts, state attorneys general offices, elected representatives, and human rights advocates.
Under Section 3 of the executive order, “Temporary Detention Policy for Families Entering this Country Illegally,” Trump declared: “The Secretary of Defense shall take all legally available measures to provide to the Secretary, upon request, any existing facilities available for the housing and care of alien families, and shall construct such facilities if necessary and consistent with law. The Secretary, to the extent permitted by law, shall be responsible for reimbursement for the use of these facilities.”
Recounts, like the ones below, are prime examples of the new statements issued to the court.
“For eight days I was held in a small room with over 60 men. We called it The Freezer because the air conditioning was so strong that we felt like ice. The men got sick inside and we had to sleep, use the toilet, and pass the time all in the same tiny room.” (“L. Doe”)
“[The children] did not have shoes or blankets in the detention center, and there were people in the cells that had to sleep standing up. They did not have enough to eat either, and could not drink the water, because of the chlorine they added to it … the incarcerated children were insulted – called named such as ‘animals’ and ‘donkeys.’ (Ludin Jimenez)
“The guards would wake all the girls up at 4 a.m. to count them by kicking on their mats. … G cried when she told me she kept hoping her mother would show up to take her out of that horrible place, but that never happened. … G overheard a girl asking to make a phone call to her family, but she was told they did not allow girls to make phone calls while detained.” (Alma Poletti, investigator for Washington’s attorney general)
“Prolonged stress (also known as toxic stress) can permanently disrupt the structure and function of a child’s developing brain. These changes can manifest as greater likelihood of adopting unhealthy behaviors (e.g., smoking and illicit drug use), increased risk of diseases (e.g., obesity, heart disease and cancer), depression and socioeconomic inequalities.” (Howard Zucker, the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health)
Additional recounts noted in these court documents.
What is undeniably clear is the negative impact on children’s psyches is ever-lasting.
“Unless required to protect a child’s safety, forced separation is known to cause immediate and extreme psychological harm to both children and their parents, and the resulting cognitive and emotional damage can be permanent,” the court documents stated.
So, where are the children?
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