Family Separation (Trump’s Policy and Its Consequences)

 

 

 

The downloadable Word files posted here (below) comprise a chronological report and overall view from March 2017 to March 2020 of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy towards migrants crossing the southwestern border; and, specifically, the separation of parents and children that was carried out by the government as the policy was implemented, first covertly and then with public knowledge, as the means of what the administration viewed as deterrence of illegal immigration.

Innumerable hours were spent collecting this information and piecing it together. The story of family separations seems to have temporarily receded in the public consciousness. History won’t forget it though. Neither have I. It represents an indelible stain on the Trump administration and on the policy’s architects, as well as a crime against humanity that tarnishes us as a nation.

 

— Roger W. Smith

 

 

 

Family Separation – A Daily Diary

 

 

STORIES – family separation, etcpsychological and medical damage

 

 

psychological and medical damage

 

human rights

 

editorials – family separation

 

statements, comments

 

religious leaders

 

Lomi Kriel

 

Susan Ferriss, ‘The Trump administration knew migrant children would suffer’

 

Leila Rafei, ‘Family Separation, Two Years After Ms. L’

 

 

 

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My brothers and sisters were bid off first, and one by one, while my mother, paralyzed by grief, held me by the hand. Her turn came, and she was bought by Isaac Riley of Montgomery County. Then I was offered to the assembled purchasers. My mother, half distracted with the thought of parting forever from all her children, pushed through the crowd while the bidding for me was going on, to the spot where Riley was standing.

She fell at his feet and clung to his knees, entreating him in tones that a mother only could
command to buy her baby as well as herself. … I must have been then between 5 and 6 years old. I seem to see and hear my poor weeping mother now.

 

— Josiah Henson, a former slave, in his autobiography, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by Himself
The Negroes at home are quite disconsolate but this will soon blow over. They may see their children again in time.

 

— Thomas Chaplin, a slave owner, in 1845, quoted in Help Me to Find My People by Heather Andrea Williams

 

 

 

My mother then turned to [her owner] and cried, ‘Oh, master, do not take me from my child!’ Without making any reply, he gave her two or three heavy blows on the shoulders with his raw hide, snatched me from her arms, handed me to my master, and seizing her by one arm, dragged her back. … The cries of my poor parent became more and more indistinct. … The horrors of that day sank deeply into my heart.

 

– Charles Ball, a fugitive slave, in his The Life and Adventures of Charles Ball (1837); Ball was separated from his mother at age 4

 

 

 

The black family “suffers little by separation.

 

— Thomas R. R. Cobb in his Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery in the United States (1858); Cobb was an American slave owner, lawyer, author, politician, and Confederate States Army officer

 

 

 

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Open letter to Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security:

 

The other night I heard you on the news say in reference to the death of Jakelin Caal Maquin that this was “a very sad example of the dangers of this journey.” Your callous disregard for the lives of the migrants massing at our southern border in hopes of entering this country prompts me to write this open letter to you.

On Sept. 6, 1620 my ancestors set out from England in a ship crammed with 102 passengers, livestock, supplies and crew and spent the next two months crossing the stormy seas living in crowded, filthy and unsanitary conditions. By the time they arrived and settled down in what would later become Plymouth, Massachusetts, only 53 of the original 102 had survived. More would die during the bitter winter and harsh conditions that awaited them. The experience and suffering of my ancestors on their perilous journey is deeply ingrained in my DNA. These ancestral memories cry out in empathy as I have watched the current wave of the migrants from Central America making their determined way north to our inhospitable borders, braving all kinds of dangers so that they might enter the promised land, the United States of America. These memories cry out in protest as I watch the way our government treats these new arrivals at the border.

Just who do you think you are? It is clear that you have no understanding of our history, why this country exists, and how that existence is justified. You have no clue about what a true American is or why people would choose to undergo danger and suffering in order to become one. Being a true American is not about gaining access to this land and then shutting the door on those who come after whom you happen not to like. Being a true American is about signing on to the unwritten mandate that requires us to work to build a more humane, more just, more loving society than what we are today and have been in the past. We are here to forward the principles of liberty, equality, and justice for all, including those who come knocking on our door asking to be let in, asking to be part of the great quest for these ideals, challenging those of us who came before to live up to them. This quest includes even or should I say especially those who were brought here against their will from Africa, but who now strive willingly to help all Americans achieve the dream.

Imagine the suffering of the Mayflower 102, the suffering of the Africans in chains in the holds of those ships, the suffering of Europeans who came later to escape famine, oppression, and death. Imagine the tribulations of the thousands who have walked here from Central America, in search of a better life, in search of the promised liberty, equality and justice that you and the people you work for are now denying them because they are “illegal.”

Were the Pilgrims “legal”? Are you saying they should not have come because they had no “legal” right to be here or because their journey was so dangerous? Of course they were “illegal.” They and those who came before and after took land that was not theirs to take and caused a great deal of suffering among the native people. Perhaps there is no justification for this “original sin.” But if there is any, it is this: that out of this original sin grew the ideals of our American constitution and the Bill of Rights. If we deny those rights and privileges to those who continue to come here and “take over our land,” then we lose all moral right to be here ourselves. Your words and actions reduce all of us and all our forebears to nothing more than land-grabbers and greedy me-firsters.

Jakelin Caal Maquin did not die on her arduous journey. She died while in your custody on American soil. How dare you put the blame on her father for attempting to further the American dream? You are not a true American, so why don’t you go back to your ancestral homeland, Denmark? True, the country is plagued with high taxes and the horrifying burden of free medical care and free university education. But at least you won’t have to face the prospects of drug-related violence, extreme poverty, and a government riddled with corruption that Jakelin’s father will face once you have repatriated him to Guatemala.

Kirstjen Nielsen, go back where you came. You are not a true American. The only true American in this sad story is Jakelin Caal Maquin. God rest her soul.

 

— Ella Rutledge, “True Americans don’t shut the door,” The Roanoke (VA) Times, December 26, 2018 (posted with permission of Ella Rutledge)

 

 

 

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The following downloadable Word files (above) comprise this post:

 

 

Family Separation: A Daily Diary

by Roger W. Smith

 

 

Anecdotal: Individual Stories of Migrant Children and Parents Separated by the Trump Administration Since November 2017

by Roger W. Smith

 

 

Psychological Damage and Medical/Health Consequences of the Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy; Press Coverage and Statements by Experts

compiled by Roger W. Smith

 

 

Human Rights and the Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy

compiled by Roger W. Smith

 

 

Editorials re the Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy

compiled by Roger W. Smith

 

 

Anti-Child Separation, Abolish Ice Comments and Statements by Politicians/Public Figures and Others

compiled by Roger W. Smith

 

 

Opposition by Religious Leaders, Churches, and Religious Individuals to the Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy; News Stories and Commentary

compiled by Roger W. Smith

 

 

interview with Lomi Kriel, the Houston Chronicle reporter who broke the family separation story, The Center for Public Integrity, December 2019

 

 

“The Trump administration knew migrant children would suffer from family separations. The government ramped up the practice anyway.,” by Susan Ferriss, Center for Public Integrity, December 16, 2019

 

 

Leila Rafei, The American Civil Liberties Union, “Family Separation, Two Years After Ms. L,” February 26, 2020

 

 

 

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posted by Roger W. Smith, Maspeth, NY

   April 2020

 

 

 

SEE ALSO my post

 

“J’accuse…!”

 

https://rogersgleanings.com/2018/08/29/jaccuse/

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