Heart-breaking

Following on from my last two posts about the rendering of children from families seeking asylum in the USA.

It has been confirmed that the government does not have a process for re-uniting the families. Border control separated the children from their parents for the misdemeanor of  entering the USA illegally. These are families that are so desperate that they left their home countries due to violence and when they arrive at the USA border they are turned away. So they cross the border illegally as this is their only chance to a half-way decent life. Some of the families have been re-united and there are heart-breaking stories all over the internet about children having not been cared for or washed while they were in US custody and are returned to their parents, filthy with lice.

There is a video showing the reunification of a mother and daughter, while heart-warming, it also shows a child who appears deeply traumatized. I would say that these videos should’t be shown for the sake of the child’s privacy, but we need witnesses to the horrors that the US government has inflicted on these refugees.

Furthermore, there is now evidence that children were taken to an office building and held there. This building was not approved to childcare and lacked facilities for children to stay overnight or for a long-time.

Additionally in one of the Texas “shelters” children were given anti-psychotic drugs to keep them docile. Some were told to take the drugs or never see their families again.

We need to do better.

#familiesbelongtogether

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Hug Your Family

Continuing yesterday’s post as there is more from the testimony on the policy of zero tolerance towards immigration and the effects of tearing families apart. Adam Klasfeld summarizes the second document. I am not going to quote from it or Adam’s thread this evening. This document emphasizes that there is no system in place for parents and children to communicate or to be reunited. Additionally details of the trauma experienced by both the parents and the children is stated in stark terms. Even if you think immigration into the USA should be limited, there is NO reason to be treating anyone so horribly, especially refugees fleeing violence.

If you have children, give them a hug.

If you haven’t seen this video from Now This, you should know that asylum seeking children are expected to represent themselves at their immigration hearings. They are not guaranteed a lawyer. This video is a re-enactment of children in immigration court. I read one tweet that said it was actually worse in court than shown in the video.

If you have children, hugs to your children.

I read this a few weeks ago, but it just came up again on Twitter today. The Department of Homeland Security is going to re-examine naturalized citizens’ applications and may revoke citizenship. I’m hyperventilating about this one and, no, I didn’t lie on my application. The process is complex so wording could be twisted to make anything a lie if the government or lawyers chose. Also I am from Britain and I’m white, so…

Hug your family.

There are a number of protests around the country. The one at the Statue of Liberty is getting a lot of publicity and I’ve been following the protest at the ICE facility in Philadelphia. Thanks to these protesters.

#familiesbelongtogether

 

Not in My Name

I cannot write a reasonable and civil post after reading this thread of tweets.  The government which makes refugees unwelcome and prevented from seeking asylum does not represent me. I am angry. Not in my name.

“When I first spoke with ICE officers, they told us, ‘why did you come from your country?’, ‘don’t you know that we hate you people?’, ‘we don’t want you in our country.’ … We are being treated like criminals in chains and everything. We’re just seeking refuge.”

I cannot permit trauma to be inflicted on vulnerable people fleeing violence and seeking asylum. I am crying. Not in my name.

“Children who have been forcibly separated from their parents face not only this trauma, but also the trauma of having been torn from their parents, placed in detention centers and brought to new places and people that they may not know.” Catholic Charities, Boston, refugee dir.

I cannot sit quietly when people are turned away at the border before being able to ask for asylum. When they then enter illegally to escape violence and abuse, they are arrested and their children were torn away from them, and once in detention asylum seekers are treated appallingly. I am furious. Not in my name.

“They took me to the ‘icebox.’ … It was very cold and we were only given blankets made of aluminum foil. We were sleeping on the freezing ground. We were being grossly shouted at.” Honduran single mom separated from her 6-year-old.

I cannot watch idly when more than a week after we were told that the families would be reunited, there isn’t a system in place which allows families find each other, let alone get back together again. There appear to be little ore no records of where different family members were sent. I am frustrated. Not in my name

“As of our last communication with them, none of the above individuals had been informed of plans to reunite them with their minor children, grandchildren, or other minor aged family members.” Senior staff attorney for ABA Immigration Justice Project, referring to families here.

I cannot remain silent as my heart breaks when any person is treated inhumanely. I am enraged. Not in my name.

I demand that all refugees are treated with respect and, yes, civility when they ask for help. I am determined. In my name.

Original Report  Thanks the Adam Klasfeld for taking the effort to read through and  make public the information in the recently released documents on immigration.

#familiesbelongtogether