Tag Archives: separation of undocumented children from parents

family separation repost XI (the family separation policy was deliberately implemented under Trump’s orders … officials who later denied it were fully aware … the Justice Department was instrumental from the outset in its implementation and demanded compliance from government prosecutors)

 

 

‘We Need to Take Away Children’ – NY Times 10-6-2020

 

 

Posted here is a self-explanatory news story from today’s New York Times:

 

‘We Need to Take Away Children,’ No Matter How Young, Justice Dept. Officials Said

Top department officials were “a driving force” behind President Trump’s child separation policy, a draft investigation report said.

By Michael D. Shear, Katie Benner and Michael S. Schmidt

The New York Times

October 6, 2020

 

 

 

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A few noteworthy items (among other disturbing ones) in the Times story:

 

“Gene Hamilton, a top lawyer and ally of Stephen Miller, the architect of the president’s assault on immigration, argued in a 32-page response that Justice Department officials merely took direction from the president. Mr. Hamilton cited an April 3, 2018, meeting with Mr. Sessions; the homeland security secretary at the time, Kirstjen Nielsen; and others in which the president ‘ranted’ and was on ‘a tirade,’ demanding as many prosecutions as possible.” (Note blame-shifting. But, of course, Trump, who actually took credit later for ENDING the policy, blaming Obama for it, was the leader responsible for it.)

“Alexa Vance, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, disputed the draft report and said the Homeland Security Department referred cases for prosecution.”

‘The draft report relied on for this article contains numerous factual errors and inaccuracies,’ she said. ‘While D.O.J. is responsible for the prosecutions of defendants, it had no role in tracking or providing custodial care to the children of defendants. Finally, both the timing and misleading content of this leak raise troubling questions about the motivations of those responsible for it.’ ” (This is devious blame-shifting. What she in essence is saying is that once the children were separated and caged, DOJ was not responsible for what happened to them. As a matter of fact, no one in the government bothered to keep RECORDS of separated children and their parents, so that when a judge order reunification, no one could find them.)

“Government prosecutors reacted with alarm at the separation of children from their parents during a secret 2017 pilot program along the Mexican border in Texas. ‘We have now heard of us taking breastfeeding defendant moms away from their infants,’ one government prosecutor wrote to his superiors. ‘I did not believe this until I looked at the duty log.’ ” (The secret pilot program was revealed in November 2017 by Houston Chronicle reporter Lomi Kriel. See my post “Family Separation: A Daily Diary.”)

 

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

    October 2020

family separation repost VIII (“Human Rights and the Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy”)

 

 

human rights

 

 

The above downloadable Word file contains my compilation of ongoing commentary and statements, from May 2018 to February 2020, in which the Trump administrations’s policy of forced separation of immigrant children from their parents (and vice versa) was subjected to critcism as a human rights abuse.

The document is 56 pages long.

 

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

June 2020

family separation repost VII

 

 

Trump digs in on false claim that he stopped Obama’s family separation policy – Washington Post 4-10-2019

 

The following is a new addition to my family separation posts (downloadable Word document above):

 

 

Trump digs in on false claim that he stopped Obama’s family separation policy

By Salvador Rizzo

The Washington Post

April 10, 2019

 

 

It’s a very important piece of news analysis which encapsulates what was wrong with the Trump administration’s family policy and how deviously it was implemented and defended — as we see here, by Trump himself. Such deviousness and dissembling were characteristic in varying degrees of architects and defenders of the policy such as Stephen Miller and Kirstjen Nielsen, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   May 2020

family separation repost VI (Family Separation: A Daily Diary)

 

 

Family Separation – A Daily Diary

 

 

In my post “Family Separation: A Daily Diary” (downloadable Word document above), I provide a day to day account — from March 3, 2017 to March 30, 2020 — of how the Trump administration’s family separation policy, which was at first implemented secretly, was implemented by the Department of Homeland Security, became public, caused outrage, was supposedly rescinded, and was still carried on by various administration stratagems; and of the horrors of trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, which is a way of saying: reunite children who were not accounted for or kept track of by the administration with their parents.

The document is 186 pages long.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

    July 2020

family separation repost V (individual stories of family separation under the Trump administration)

 

 

STORIES – family separation, etc

 

 

The downloadable Word document posted here (above) comprises a compilation by me of “horror stories” of immigrant children separated from their parents under the family separation policy that was implemented and carried out by the Trump administration from around July 2017 to January of this year as a means to deter immigration. The extent of this time frame takes into account that long after the policy was supposedly rescinded, in response to public pressure, many children remained separated from their parents, often because officials had never bothered to keep track of them.

The document posted here is 130 pages long.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   May 2020

family separation repost IV (editorials against the Trump administration’s family separation policy)

 

 

editorials – family separation

 

 

 

The downloadable Word document posted here (above) comprises a daily compilation by me of editorials and letters to the editor expressing opposition to the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

The document posted here is 148 pages long.

It is sad to contemplate how the issue (outrage) of family separation as a strategy to deter immigration seems to have faded from public consciousness in the past months, and has faded almost completely since the pandemic began. While this is understandable, it would seem, the children who suffered trauma and the parents unendurable emotional pain will not easily recover.

Many, in fact the majority, of the editorials which commenced in March 2017, are eloquent and have a Zola-esque quality.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   May 2020

family separation repost III (opposition by religious leaders to the Trump administration’s family separation policy)

 

 

religious leaders

 

 

The downloadable Word document posted here (above) comprises a daily compilation by me of statements, news stories, etc. in which churches and religious leaders expressed opposition to the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

The document posted here is 92 pages long.
— Roger W. Smith

   May 2020

family separation repost II (psychological damage and medical/health consequences of the trump administration’s family separation policy)

 

 

psychological and medical damage

 

 

The downloadable Word document posted here (above) focuses on the consequences of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, assessed from a psychological/medical point of view by experts on child development. Such consequences include trauma and impairment of the children’s psychological as well as neurological health and development.

It’s “a critical issue that transcends political ideology and partisanship,” in the words of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

The document posted here, compiled by me, is 280 pages long. It includes statements by experts on child development and welfare as well as press reports addressing the issue.

Since the damage to the migrant children was not transitory or of limited duration, this is an issue which should not get swept under the rug and forgotten about as supposedly being of interest only as long as it was part of the news cycle.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   April 2020

family separation repost I (comments and statements by politicians, public figures, and ordinary citizens)

 

 

statements, comments

 

 

See downloadable Word document above.

 

 

 

I realize that my post about the Trump administration’s family separation policy and its impact upon families and the children torn from their parents is not going to get many readers. It consists of several documents covering different aspects of the policy and its tragic — indeed horrible — consequences. Most of the documents are very long and detailed.

 

What I have done, in essence, is produce a documentary, which is well worth reading. Rather than provide an overview of family separation under the Trump administration, I have provided a daily account of the policy as it was implemented and evolved (with terrible consequences): its implementation (at first in secret) by the Trump administration; developments as opposition to family separation mounted; individual stories of the children torn from their parents; what religious leaders and human rights officials said; the flood of anti-child separation editorials from summer 2018 on. I dug this information out of sundry sources.

 

Here is my compilation of statements against child separation made by politicians, public figures, religious and community leaders, and ordinary citizens in various publications and venues, ranging from the halls of Congress to student newspapers and Facebook posts.

 

 

Roger W. Smith

   July 2020

Family Separation (Trump’s Policy and Its Consequences)

 

 

 

Family Separation – A Daily Diary

 

 

STORIES – family separation, etc

 

 

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’

 

 

Trump digs in on false claim that he stopped Obama’s family separation policy – Washington Post 4-10-2019

 

 

 

The downloadable Word files posted here (above) 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

 

 

 

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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

 

“Trump digs in on false claim that he stopped Obama’s family separation policy,” By Salvador Rizzo , The Washington Post, April 10, 2019

 

 

 

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posted by Roger W. Smith, Maspeth, NY

   April 2020; updated July 2020

 

 

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SEE ALSO my post

 

“J’accuse…!”

 

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