Contributed by James Ewing (Watermill, NY).
Watch this powerful video from the border where Alyssa Milano is broadcasting live:
Over the past year approximately 400,000 migrants have been detained by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP).They are primarily from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders recently said that the Border Patrol is holding 15,000 people, and the agency considers 4,000 to be at capacity.
On any given day, 2,000 children are in Border Patrol custody, and the problems are hardly confined to one facility…Legally, they’re not supposed to be held by border agents for more than 72 hours before being sent to the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for finding their nearest relative in the US to house them while their immigration cases are adjudicated.
Almost all of these children have family members, including parents, in the United States, who are able to and want to take care of their children.
At the Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, some of the children are going weeks without enough food, water, or hygienic sanitation. Researchers report that kids are sick, caring for each other, and lack baths and diapers.
These kids and teens are being forcibly separated from their families. Which, in spite of Trump’s repeated claims to the contrary, has not been the norm in previous administrations.
Unlike privately contracted child detention facilities (which charge the US taxpayer up to $750 a day per child), Border Patrol stations like the Clint Detention Facilty, are federal facilities, exempt from state health and safety standards, according to Texas Department of Health and Human Services spokesman John Reynolds. Child abuse and neglect investigators are not allowed to investigate the stations because they not licensed by the state.
Law professor Warren Binford, saw a 4-year-old with hair so matted and dirty she thought it would have to be cut off. The child had not bathed in more than a week, she said. She witnessed a 14-year-old caring for a 2-year-old without a diaper, shrugging as the baby urinated as they sat at a table because she did not know what to do. Here, in a warehouse filled with filthy kids who had not bathed in days, some with lice and influenza, it was kids taking care of kids. There was no soap. And when she tried to find baby food, there was none of that, either. All they had was instant oatmeal for breakfast, instant soup for lunch and a frozen burrito for dinner, “every single day,”
The Trump administration argued before a Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday that the government is not required to give soap or toothbrushes to children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border and can have them sleep on concrete floors in frigid, overcrowded cells, despite a settlement agreement that requires detainees be kept in “safe and sanitary” facilities.
A 14-year-old girl from Guatemala said she had been holding two little girls in her lap.
“I need comfort, too. I am bigger than they are, but I am a child, too,” she said.
“She’s suffering very much because she’s never been alone. She doesn’t know these other children,” said her father.
“Try to imagine what it’s like for these children, not as a parent, but as one of the children. To be hungry, without anyone to help you, to be abandoned to filth with no way to get clean, to be trying to take care of yourself and children who are even younger that you are, to be confused about what might happen next and to be terrified that you will never be loved or cared for by anyone again.” (Unknown Field notes)
“In my 22 years of doing visits with children I have never heard of this level of inhumanity”— Holly Cooper—UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic
While existing aid levels to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras will not be reduced this year, the Trump administration “will not provide new funds for programs in those countries until we are satisfied that the Northern Triangle governments are taking concrete actions to reduce the number of migrants coming to the U.S. border, said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus. ‘This is consistent with the president’s direction and with the recognition that it is critical that there be sufficient political will in these countries to address the problem at its source.’ ” Washington AP 6/18/1
At least 24 adults and 6 children have died in US custody under Trump’s border policies.
“The death of a child is always a terrible thing, but here is a situation where, because there is not enough funding they can’t move the people out of our custody,” says outgoing CPB Commissioner John Sanders.
The victims from upper left (clockwise): Wilmer(2), Darlyn (10), Carlos (16) ,Mariee (20 mos), Felipe (8), and Juan (16)
By the way, Perry Gershon has it right regarding potential solutions.
Lee Zeldin parrots the Trump and FOX line. What a disaster. Think about it in November 2020.
Here is what one Candaian thinks:
and here is what you can do right now: