Atrocities at the Border


Rosaries taken from migrants at the Mexico border: Memories of piles of shoes and the holocaust!

Tom Kiefer was a Customs and Border Protection janitor for almost four years before he took a good look inside the trash. Every day at work—at the C.B.P. processing center in Ajo, Arizona, less than fifty miles from the border with Mexico—he would throw away bags full of items confiscated from undocumented migrants apprehended in the desert. One day in 2007, he was rummaging through these bags looking for packaged food, which he’d received permission to donate to a local pantry. In the process, he also noticed toothbrushes, rosaries, pocket Bibles, water bottles, keys, shoelaces, razors, mix CDs, condoms, contraceptive pills, sunglasses, keys: a vibrant, startling testament to the lives of those who had been detained or deported.

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GOP: “feckless cowards”

Strong words from Steve Schmidt:

357435Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 11.44.10 AM.png

Taken from a report in the WaPo:

After Trump’s contentious appearance at the Group of Seven summit in Canada this month, Schmidt condemned Republican Party leaders for not being more critical of the president. On Wednesday, Schmidt doubled down on that criticism, saying that with the exception of Republican governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Larry Hogan of Maryland and John Kasich of Ohio, the Republican Party is “filled with feckless cowards who disgrace and dishonor the legacies of the party’s greatest leaders.”

All three governors have denounced the Trump administration’s separation policy.

“This child separation policy is connected to the worst abuses of humanity in our history,” Schmidt wrote. “It is connected by the same evil that separated families during slavery and dislocated tribes and broke up Native American families. It is immoral and must be repudiated. Our country is in trouble. Our politics are badly broken.”

We need a few more heroes true to Abe Lincoln.  Where are they?



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21 State Attorneys General Demand Sessions End the “Zero Tolerance Policy”


Twenty-one State AGs have a demanded that the Trump Administration end the policy that is the root of the disastrous family separation situation unfolding on the South border.






June 19, 2018


The undersigned Attorneys General write to express our strong opposition to the Department of Justice’s new “zero tolerance” policy of forcibly separating all families that cross the border illegally, including those seeking asylum. The policy is not only inhumane, but it also raises serious concerns regarding the violation of children’s rights, constitutional principles of due process and equal protection, and the efforts of state law enforcement officials to stop crime. Because of these concerns, we demand that the Department of Justice immediately cease these draconian practices.

On April 6, 2018, the Attorney General announced a new “zero tolerance” policy, calling for the immediate criminal prosecution of all individuals who illegally enter the United States, including those seeking asylum. Under this policy, adults who enter the United States are brought to federal prisons, instead of immigrant detention centers, and their children are treated as “unaccompanied minors” and forcibly placed into the care of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.

As you are aware, the fundamental rights of children are expressed in international, federal, and state bodies of law. Each of these laws is, at its core, designed to protect the best interests of children. These laws are representative of the views of millions of Americans that the government, in any process, should first and foremost seek to protect those interests. Almost universally, the statutory mandates and the litany of cases interpreting them overwhelmingly express that a child’s best interests are served by remaining with his or her family, absent a rigorous judicial inquiry resulting in a finding that a parent is unfit or proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed. Policies that separate a child from his or her parent absent that level of inquiry, would not only be illegal under most state laws, but also may be contrary to the policy views of state legislatures and their constituents across this country.

These views are complemented by numerous laws and judicial precedent that mandate and hold that parents have a fundamental right to raise their children. This principle is affirmed in both state and federal law, by both statute and judicial precedent. The notion that the government should intrude into the rights of a parent to be with their child has historically been met with extremely high levels of scrutiny. Thus, the deliberate separation of families for the express purpose of furthering an immigration policy is contrary to our laws.

Not only is it highly concerning that current Department of Justice policies may be in contravention of the express purpose of these legal mandates, but these practices directly interfere with the efforts of our offices and other enforcement officials—locally, nationally, and internationally—to prevent and prosecute crime. In most states, Attorneys General are responsible for enforcing laws that include human trafficking, drug trafficking, and gang violence offenses. As you are keenly aware, these issues are rarely local in context; rather, they require the efforts and collaboration of law enforcement officials across both state and international borders to prevent the widespread and syndicated perpetration of these crimes. These efforts rely on reporting and cooperation from survivors of these crimes and victims of criminal organizations. The practice of mandatory family separation is both inhumane and contrary to the efforts of the law enforcement and others who dedicate their tireless efforts to stopping violent criminals.

Put simply, the deliberate separation of children and their parents who seek lawful asylum in America is wrong. This practice is contrary to American values and must be stopped. We demand that you immediately reverse these harmful policies, as it is in the best interests of the children and families affected.


Hector Balderas Xavier Becerra
Attorney General of California

George Jepsen Matthew P. Denn
Attorney General of Connecticut Attorney General of Delaware

Karl Racine

Attorney General for the District of Columbia

Lisa Madigan
Attorney General of Illinois

Janet Mills
Attorney General of Maine

Maura Healy
Attorney General of Massachusetts

Gurbir Grewal
Attorney General of New Jersey


Russell Suzuki
Attorney General of Hawaii

Thomas J. Miller Attorney General of Iowa

Brian Frosh
Attorney General of Maryland

Lori Swanson
Attorney General of Minnesota

Barbara D. Underwood Attorney General of New York


Josh Stein
Attorney General of North Carolina

Josh Shapiro
Attorney General of Pennsylvania

Thomas J. Donovan, Jr. Attorney General of Vermont

Bob Ferguson
Attorney General of Washington


Ellen Rosenblum
Attorney General of Oregon

Peter F. Kilmartin
Attorney General of Rhode Island

Mark R. Herring
Attorney General of Virginia

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Child Abuse (Human Rights Violation)

Submitted by James Ewing (Watermill):


We want you to imagine for a moment what this might be like for a child: to flee the place you have called your home because it is not safe to stay and then embark on a dangerous journey to an unknown destination, only to be ripped apart from your sole sense of security with no understanding of what just happened to you or if you will ever see your family again. And that the only thing you have done to deserve this, is to do what children do: stay close to the adults in their lives for security.

The zero-tolerance policy was announced on April 6.
Nationwide, nearly 2,000 minors were taken from their parents from April 19 through May 31, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security.
“…the children will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever.”
Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.

“At minimum, forced separation will cause these children extreme emotional distress…the sadness is not the thing that really matters here. What matters is this is a trauma to the developing nervous system.”
Nim Tottenham of Columbia University.
“Extreme emotional responses to separation from parents is part of evolution’s plan to keep those parents close — to break any parent’s heart, because throughout human evolution, an absent caregiver has meant almost certain death.
Megan Gunnar University of Minnesota.…

When faced with separation from loved ones, “we fight as if it’s a matter of life and death, because it is.”
Jude Cassidy University of Maryland.
“…little minds and hearts can maintain that level of distress only for so long before the children face a horrifying decision: Continue, through severe emotional pain, to call out for their parents, or proceed on the assumption that their parents are gone…
James Coan University of Virginia

We are all being made complicit in child abuse by this administration.


Comments added by David Posnett:

Here is Zeldin’s response:

Screen Shot 2018-06-17 at 12.06.11 PM

(UAC: Unaccompanied Alien Children)

Lee Zeldin contact info:  (202) 225 3826, (631) 289 1097.

I am sure he would like to hear from you!


Perry Gershon for Congress


𝐋𝐞𝐞 𝐙𝐞𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐧 𝐒𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐬 𝐎𝐮𝐭 𝐎𝐧 𝐅𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐒𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝

Zeldin finally took a position on family separation at the border. As expected, he is supporting the cruel Trump policy. We need to replace Zeldin this November. Taking children away from their parents does not just apply to people attempting to cross the border without documentation. Our government is separating the children of asylum seekers too – these people with zero purported criminal activity. We cannot allow this to happen and be silent. And Zeldin cheers the policy. I pledge to fight this policy to all my ability if elected in November, and ask for your support on June 26 to help me get there.

If you want more color on the trump policy, this link describes it better.

Posted in Civil Rights, Discrimination, Ethics, GOP, immigration/deportation, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Children and Parents will be Separated”
Contributed by James Ewing:
Dear friends,
Are you as appalled as I am at the forcible removal of children from their parents at the U.S./ Mexico border? This egregious form of state sponsored child abuse tears at the very heart and soul of our nation.
Here is something we all can do in addition to calling our members of congress and petitioning: send shoes and clothing to Jeff Sessions for these children being held in kiddie concentration camps. The Border Patrol and ICE just do not have enough infant-sized orange jump suits for the more than 12,000 children being held behind bars.
Look through your closets for clothing and shoes that your children or grandchildren have outgrown. Make a visit to thrift stores or yard sales and make up a care package. Send it to the children in care of Jeff Sessions.
What if he were to receive a million packages? Or ten million? Please share widely.
Refugee children
c/o U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions
United States Department of Justice 
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 
Washington, DC 20530-0001.

PoetryLovers mailing list

Note (D. Posnett): apparently there is a rift among Repulicans with Ryan and others (?) breaking with the White House on the policy of separating kids from their parents.  Where does Zeldin stand on this issue?
Posted in immigration/deportation, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This Woman Had The Perfect Response When ICE Boarded Her Greyhound Bus

Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 6.07.10 PM.pngTiana Smalls

By Yvette Montoya

When Tiana Smalls (pictured above) boarded a Greyhound Bus in Bakersfield California headed to Las Vegas, she found herself in a situation that is reminiscent of Nazi, Germany. She recounts her experience in a Facebook post that has now gone viral:
Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 9.54.22 AM
Tiana decided to act when she could have just minded her business and continued her trip. But no, what happened was bold and brave:
Realizing that the people most likely to be targeted by ICE are Latinos, Smalls got on Google Translate so she could read her message in Spanish to make sure everyone knew what their rights were. She even went as far as reassuring the terrified woman next to her, that she wouldn’t let anything happen to her.
When ICE boarded the bus, Smalls was loud, stood her ground and made sure the agents, the driver, and everyone on the bus knew, that what ICE was doing, was illegal.
Small’s “filthy mouth” saved lives. She stuck up for what was right and for those who were most vulnerable. And she reminds everyone that injustice exists because of fear and silence and that using your voice to defend those in danger is the only way to combat the racism and blatant xenophobia sweeping the United States.
But what I really want to know is why Greyhound is allowing paying customers to be arrested simply for existing?
There are many comments all over Facebook on this story.  Here is one that needs to be answered (spelling errors corrected):

Uri Xeno

It is the land of the free, for people who are citizens… You wouldn’t be mad at officials for enforcing theft laws, so why would enforcing immigration laws be any different? There is no propaganda involved here. If you come to the US or stay in the US illegally, you risk getting deported. It’s the same for every country in the world. If that’s an issue, work to change the laws, but it’s unrealistic to expect that someone can just move to a country and live there forever without going through some process to become a citizen. No country operates like that.
Like · Reply · 30 · 1d
What Uri Xeno misses, is the intent and motivation behind Trump’s minions.  Uri is correct in stating that other countries might well enforce their laws against people that overstay their visas or break immigration laws.  However,
1) other countries do not have a stated policy to hunt down their own citizens who might stand accused of having obtained citizenship by illegal means, i.e. operation Janus, and ending birthright citizenship.
2) other countries don’t declare that people from “shithole” countries are not welcome.
3) other countries don’t leave entire segments of their own citizenry (Puerto Ricans) in limbo regarding their rights.
4) other countries don’t appoint racists to positions in government which empower ICE and other agencies and enact racist policies (Carl HigbieAyo Kimathi, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Jeff Sessions, John Kelley, Thomas Homan, Sheriff Arpaio,etc).  This was clear from the onset of the Trump presidency.
5) other countries don’t appoint ambassadors to raise hell with our staunchest allies.
6) other countries do not systematically turn down those that seek asylum because where they came from, they were in danger of their lives.
7) other countries don’t separate mothers from their children when they are apprehended at the border, which has rightfully spawned massive protests, 
8) and most other countries don’t have an avowed racist as their president
Those are fascist tactics as Dr. Ruth explained to Dr. Kissinger!  And our country will suffer the consequences.  The historical record will not be kind.


In regard to our own US history, we just saw a new play “FELLOW TRAVELERS.”  It is set during Hollywood’s notorious Blacklist.  FELLOW TRAVELERS examines the relationship between legendary theater artists Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan and their close connection to Marilyn Monroe.

As per the it is a story of one of Hollywood’s darkest hours…, when American entertainment professionals and intellectuals were interrogated and denied employment opportunities because they were suspected of having Communist ties, or simply because they refused to cooperate with the McCarthyism witch-hunt. During this poisonous political time “Fellow Travelers” was the derogatory term used for people who were suspected of having any kind of Communist affiliation.

I also highly recommend “Red Hollywood”, a movie that

mainly features clips of films made by “Communist” writers, directors, and actors in Hollywood, many of whom were targets of secret government investigations and were blacklisted—barred from working in the studios in the wake of the hearings held, in 1947 and 1951, by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAAC). Read more here.

What stands out is the creeping nature of persecution:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller


Uri Xeno beware!  They may come after you!



Posted in immigration/deportation, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Brooklyn Army Base Orders Pizza, Calls ICE On Delivery Man

Pablo Villavicencio

An immigrant delivery worker from Ecuador faces deportation after bringing pizza to the Fort Hamilton military base in Bay Ridge on Friday. After being let onto the base around noon using his NYC municipal ID, a soldier reportedly asked Pablo Villavicencio, 35, for proof of citizenship, and detained him when he didn’t provide it. El Diario reports (translation here) that the soldier then called ICE, which transported Villavicencio to an immigration center in Manhattan. He was transferred to a base in New Jersey over the weekend, where he is in ICE custody pending removal.

Villavicencio had delivered pizza to this base previously, said Bay Ridge Councilman Justin Brannan at a press conference outside the base this morning. According to Sandra Chica, Villavicencio’s wife, he applied for a Green Card in February, and it is currently pending. Chica and their two children are U.S. citizens, and Villavicencio has been in the country for 10 years.

“A lawyer told me that there is nothing he can do, that he is going to be deported,” Chica said at the press conference.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams says “the arrest of Pablo with a municipal ID is sending shockwaves throughout the immigrant community” because immigrants were told they would not be harassed in New York, a sanctuary city, he says. “Delivery to detention is unimaginable.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was also on hand to call for Villavicencio’s release. “It was all right for them to take his pizza, but it was also alright for them to put him in prison,” said Adams. “Not in America. Not in New York, and not in Brooklyn.”

Villavicencio was the primary earner in the house and took care of his kids when his wife went to work, writes CUNY professor and advocate Angus Johnson. El Diaro reports that Chica doesn’t have any family members to help take care of her family.

“How is it possible that they want to separate the father of two babies… just because he didn’t have a document?” Chica asked at today’s rally. “The girls will not stop asking for their dad. We talked with him over the weekend. He was crying, and the girls noticed it, and we didn’t know what to tell them. They are the most affected. They are suffering so much.”

“It’s unfortunate that the army base here in Bay Ridge, which is in a community that’s vibrant with immigrants… is not reflecting its community values,” said Murad Awawdeh, Vice President of Advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition, at the press conference. “It’s sad that the army has now deputized MPs to become part of the deportation machine.”

Alex Pellitteri, with Bay Ridge for Social Justice, announced there will be a march for Pablo Villavicencio tonight at 6 p.m., starting at the base and proceeding along Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge.

In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, a Fort Hamilton spokesperson said Villavicencio tried to “make a delivery without valid Department of Defense identification.” When instructed to get a daily pass, the spokesperson said Villavicencio signed “a waiver permitting a background check, Department of the Army Access Control standard for all visitors, an active Immigration and Customs Enforcement warrant was discovered on file” and he was detained. “Commanders are authorized to take reasonably necessary and lawful measures to maintain law and order and protect installation personnel and property.”


Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 10.50.27 PM.png
Posted in immigration/deportation, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment