Lazy Saturday Reads: Trump’s Monstrous Family Separation Policy

Good Morning!!

The pain of the thousands of children and parents who have been separated at the border on orders from Trump and Sessions is on my mind every day, all day long now. Even soulless Trump has some distant sense that his fascism may be too out in the open now, because he’s trying to blame Democrats for his cruelty. Can you believe he actually had this claim posted on the White House web page? It’s followed by a list of people harmed by illegal immigrants. How does that justify punishing children?

Today The Intercept posted a video showing that refugees are being turned back from the border and told they can’t apply for refugee status because there’s no room for them in the United States.

Anyone who still supports Trump is complicit in the evil he is perpetrating on desperate people and the shame he is bringing down on our country.

Trump is on twitter this morning claiming he’s not responsible for the family separations he ordered. But Jeff Sessions isn’t hiding how much he loves this policy, and John Kelly endorsed it long ago. In fact, he suggested doing this when he was head of Homeland Security. Remember his NPR interview last month?

Are you in favor of this new move announced by the attorney general early this week that if you cross the border illegally even if you’re a mother with your children [we’re going] to arrest you? We’re going to prosecute you, we’re going to send your kids to a juvenile shelter?

The name of the game to a large degree. Let me step back and tell you that the vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people. They’re not criminals. They’re not MS-13. Some of them are not. But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from – fourth, fifth, sixth grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English, obviously that’s a big thing. They don’t speak English. They don’t integrate well, they don’t have skills. They’re not bad people. They’re coming here for a reason. And I sympathize with the reason. But the laws are the laws. But a big name of the game is deterrence.

John Kelly is a monster.

Family separation stands as a pretty tough deterrent.

It could be a tough deterrent — would be a tough deterrent. A much faster turnaround on asylum seekers.

Even though people say that’s cruel and heartless to take a mother away from her children?

I wouldn’t put it quite that way. The children will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever. But the big point is they elected to come illegally into the United States and this is a technique that no one hopes will be used extensively or for very long.

“Foster care or whatever.” Kelly is another monster among monsters.

Please read this Twitter thread by a man who was separated from his father at age 4 and put in a group home. He describes the behavior of traumatized children and how they are punished for acting out. Other people share their stories in the thread too.

The LA Times talked to a man who resigned in disgust from one of the places where children are being warehoused: ‘Prison-like’ migrant youth shelter is understaffed, unequipped for Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy, insider says.

Colleagues at a government-contracted shelter in Arizona had a specific request for Antar Davidson when three Brazilian migrant children arrived: “Tell them they can’t hug.”

Davidson, 32, is of Brazilian descent and speaks Portuguese. He said the siblings — ages 16, 10 and 6 — were distraught after being separated from their parents at the border. The children were “huddled together, tears streaming down their faces,” he said.

Officials had told them their parents were “lost,” which they interpreted to mean dead. Davidson said he told the children he didn’t know where their parents were, but that they had to be strong.

“The 16-year-old, he looks at me and says, ‘How?’” Davidson said. As he watched the youth cry, he thought, “This is not healthy.”

Antar Davidson

Davidson quit this week after being a youth care worker at the Tucson shelter, Estrella del Norte, for just a few months. He decided to speak out about his experiences there in hopes of improving a system often shielded from public scrutiny. His comments in a telephone interview offer a rare look into the operation of a migrant shelter.

Davidson said he became disillusioned after the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy began sending the shelter not only children who had crossed the border unaccompanied by adults, but also those separated from their parents.

The caseload is straining a facility he described as understaffed and unequipped to deal with children experiencing trauma, such as the three Brazilians. During his time at the shelter, children were running away, screaming, throwing furniture and attempting suicide, Davidson said. Several were being monitored this week because they were at risk of running away, self-harm and suicide, records show.

Read the rest at the link above.

At the Philadelphia Inquirer, Will Bunch writes: Abolishing ICE is the radical idea America needs to be talking about.

After all the stories and viral videos — the screaming mom dragged away from her horrified young children, the 10-year-old with cerebral palsy who got busted in her ambulance after emergency surgery, the pillars of their local communities who showed for a routine check-up and ended up in detention, the stepped-up raids, and all the arrests in courtrooms, outside schoolhouse doors, and behind churches — Americans are right to wonder if our out-of-control immigration cops have any limits at all.

Amazingly, they do. When it came out a couple of weeks ago that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was on the brink of deporting the wife of an Army Special Forces veteran — planning to send her back to Honduras, where drug dealers might seek violent revenge for her husband’s past drug-interdiction work there with the U.S. military — the public outcry was so great that even this tone-deaf federal agency backed down, for once.

Before the Trump administration took office in January 2016, the notion that military wife Elia Crawford would be deported by the United States would have been a total non-starter. Attorneys with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security used to routinely find ways to keep military spouses and family members in the country — one of a hodge-podge of practices that, although wildly imperfect, sought to bring some common sense to America’s muddled immigration policy. But then our treatment of the undocumented and their family members, backsliding in many ways now for two decades, fell off a moral cliff with the arrival of Trump and his minions. That means it’s now typically full-steam ahead for any and all deportation orders, regardless of who gets hurt.

The conduct of ICE and its first cousin, the Border Patrol, has been arguably the darkest moral stain on the sometimes comical but too often diabolical Trump era. And yet these one-off individual outrages — the Indonesian who led Superstorm Sandy rebuilding efforts who took refuge in a church to avoid ICE, or Philadelphia’s Carmelo Apolonio Hernandez, the mother of four that ICE wants to send back to the Mexican town where her relatives were killed by drug lords — have a hard time breaking through the bubble, amid the mass chaos of our 45th president. But now we have actual numbers to tell the sorry state of our current Deportation Nation.

In the first year of Trump’s presidency, we now know, immigration arrests and detentions spiked by a whopping one-third over 2016 — proof that the president has kept has his campaign promise for a “deportation force,” merely by “taking the shackles off” the ready and willing team he already had in place, ICE. What’s more, the biggest driver of this increase has been the seizure of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record, which has doubled under the Trump administration.

Please go to the link to read the rest.

One more, and then I need to to take some deep breaths and try to calm down.

NPR: Doctors Concerned About ‘Irreparable Harm’ To Separated Migrant Children.

In South Texas, pediatricians started sounding the alarm weeks ago as migrant shelters began filling up with younger children separated from their parents after they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

The concerned pediatricians contacted Colleen Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and she flew to Texas and visited a shelter for migrant children in the Rio Grande Valley. There, she saw a young girl in tears. “She couldn’t have been more than 2 years old,” Kraft says. “Just crying and pounding and having a huge, huge temper tantrum. This child was just screaming, and nobody could help her. And we know why she was crying. She didn’t have her mother. She didn’t have her parent who could soothe her and take care of her.”

The number of migrant children in U.S. government custody is soaring — partly the result of a policy decision by the Trump administration to separate children from their parents who are being prosecuted for unlawful entry. Hundreds of the children being held in shelters are under age 13.

Medical professionals, members of Congress and religious leaders are calling on the Trump administration to stop separating migrant families. They question whether these shelter facilities are appropriate for younger children….

Pediatricians and immigrant advocates are warning that separating migrant children from their families can cause “toxic stress” that disrupts a child’s brain development and harms long-term health.

At the facility in South Texas, Kraft says, the staff told her that federal regulations prevented them from touching or holding the child to soothe her.

While shelter managers and other experts say there is no such rule, Kraft says the confusion underscores why these shelters are not the right place for young children — especially kids who have fled dangerous countries and who have just been separated from their parents. “By separating parents and children, we are doing irreparable harm to these children. The long-term concern of what we call toxic stress is that brains are not developed efficiently or effectively,” Kraft says. “And these children go on to have behavior problems, to have long-term medical problems.”

I suppose Trump would be happy about this, because some of these kids might grow up to commit crimes that he can highlight in his Hitler-style rallies and on the White House website.

What stories are you following today?

53 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: Trump’s Monstrous Family Separation Policy”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Take care of yourselves, Sky Dancers. We must live to fight another day.

  2. joanelle says:

    I am in tears as I read this. What kind of monsters has the republicans become?
    I was born in 1942; I remember the day my mom took me by the hand and lead me out of our home in northern NJ to show me the thousands of war planes that were coming home in 1945.
    She was ecstatic my dad, uncles and cousins would all soon be home.
    I didn’t fully understand at the time, but as I grew older I remember thinking of the children who had been separated from their moms and dads in Europe. At one point I was terrified at the thought that it could happen here someday. My mom comforted me by saying “No, never here, this is the safe place in the world “
    Mom is gone, and would be horrified to see what this monster president is doing.

    • joanelle says:

      (..Have become)
      I wonder how those folks who vote for the monster feel about their president now, how well hey sleep at night and if the have realized he’catch up with us all, even they will suffer at his hands.
      Great post, BB

    • Fannie says:

      So, I have a pond out back of our home. I’ve watched the many birds, and their babies, but today I watched as Daisy (mother duck) brought her 10 babies up to my back yard, where I have three bird feeders, and much seed has fallen to the ground (I also throw out chicken scratch for all the birds). I was so touched by Daisy bringing them to my back yard, and I watched as she stood tall, and looked left and right, and make sure that her babies were ok to eat the seed and the grass. Like all mothers, she was very proud, and so assured that her babies were going to be okay, that she trusted us, and turned them loose for the first time to feed on their own. Tears, because I know like all of us she has HOPE, that they will survive and be healthy. I look at this Zero Tolerance policy, and I get all choked up, I grieve, I don’t see any HOPE. I wonder if we have been wounded, and we cannot act to stop the kind of policy that is choking us to death.

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. Sweet Sue says:

    I just watched a Spanish speaking, MSNBC reporter interview a young mother with an eleven month old baby. The mother left Central America with her baby so they could escape the gang violence that is destroying their homeland. Now, she’s wearing an ankle bracelet and is depressed almost to the point of catatonia. The baby was clapping and trying to play but it won’t be long before his mother’s fear and sadness affect him, perhaps forever. I broke down-again. Who are we? What kind of people are we? I can’t look in the mirror anymore. Seriously, I brush my teeth in the dark. What can we do????

  5. quixote says:

    This type of thing — torture to stop migration before people even start out — was something the Australians did years before the Dump.

    The northern tip of Australia is fairly close to the Indonesian archipelago. Especially Middle Eastern refugees, mostly men, were getting into rickety boats and making the crossing.

    After I don’t know how many tens of thousands succeeded, and had various assimilation problems into the very different white Aussie culture, the popular feeling to keep them out was sky high. It was one of the reasons Julia Gilliard (Labour) was replaced by Tony Abbott (conservative).

    Abbott started a policy of “turning back the boats.” Well, it’s against international and maritime law not to help vessels in distress. Plus, Indonesia didn’t want them and wasn’t about to be humanitarian about it. So Abbott and company came up with the idea to warehouse these refugees in prison camps in unreachable places. The most well-known was the one on Nauru.

    Conditions were so appalling that people really did stop trying to migrate to Australia. Plus the danger of drowning at sea was enormous since the Australian Navy was out there making sure landfall was impossible.

    So it worked, in a horrible way. Abbott never got any real blowback. Turnbull is the conservative who succeeded him and is continuing the general policies of offering no refuge. The people who vote for such politicians are pleased that the tide of brown people has been turned.

    The point of this long story is just to be even more depressing than bb. If Australia is showing us the future again, then the Dump and his henchmen could well get away with the New US Concentration Camps.

    I really don’t know what to do except WE ALL HAVE TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER.

  6. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      It’s government-sanctioned torture for the parents too. I can’t imagine the agony.

  7. dakinikat says:

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. dakinikat says:

  10. dakinikat says:

    Video Shows Border Patrol Vehicle Hitting Native American Man, Then Driving Away

    Tensions flared on Friday between federal authorities in Arizona and residents of a Native American reservation straddling the border with Mexico after a video surfaced in which a Border Patrol vehicle appears to hit a man from the tribe before driving away.

    The video, which was recorded on the phone of the victim, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation identified as Paulo Remes, spread quickly on social media after several tribe members and Indivisible Tohono, an organization focused on the impact of border policies, posted the footage on Twitter and Facebook.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    • dakinikat says:

      We knew this. It just got NO media attention. You could tell from Ghouliani’s press interviews

      • NW Luna says:

        Yes, we knew this. That “deep and visceral hatred” has shown its vicious self for a long time.

      • quixote says:

        The kindest possible interpretation is that they were so sure Clinton would win they didn’t need to suffer the passing outrage of a bunch of extremists.

        But on *every* level, it is malfeasance in office to know that there are agents preparing to take biased *actions* and to do nothing. If the agents are too senior to be fired, as the Director and AG your duty is to expose what they’re doing and to put a stop to it.

        They didn’t do their jobs. The whole planet is suffering for it.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Let me guess. The senior FBI agents all live in Staten Island.

  12. dakinikat says:

    Mueller’s Team Gave Up Millions In Pay to Join the Russia Probe. Here’s How Much They Make

    President Donald Trump has railed against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as a waste of money, casting scrutiny on the cost of the probe. But several of its top lawyers took annual pay cuts of over $1 million to work on it.

    Mueller is one of six top attorneys on the investigative team who earn $161,900 annually, according to a Department of Justice document reviewed by MONEY.

    Four of them — Mueller himself plus Jeannie Rhee, James Quarles and Aaron Zebley — had been partners at the international law firm WilmerHale, where according to the Washington Post, they drew incomes ranging from $1.4 million to $5.8 million over 2016 and the early part of 2017.

    Mueller’s own pay for the period was $3.4 million.

    • NW Luna says:

      Glad to see there are still people for whom justice is more important than $$$.

  13. dakinikat says:

    Trump administration will withdraw US from UN human rights council, report says
    The US Ambassador Nikki Haley said last year that the group has a ‘chronic anti-Israel bias’

    President Donald Trump’s administration is said to be set on withdrawing the US from the United Nations Human Rights Council. which meets for a new session next week

    US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has accused the 47-member organisation based in Geneva of “chronic anti-Israel bias” since she came into office last year and according to a number of reports, the withdrawal is “imminent,” particularly after UN’s recent condemnation of Israel’s violence against Palestinians in Gaza.

    Diplomats believe it is a case of when, not if, the US withdraws according to Reuters, although the State Department did not say in a statement that a decision had been made.

  14. dakinikat says:

    Donald Trump, the Insecure Pledge in the Dictatorship Fraternity
    The authoritarian impulses would be sad, if they also weren’t so horrifying.


    Sorry, I’m all out of passes in the “He’s new at this” or “He’s joking” or “That’s just Trump being Trump” categories his enablers have gotten away with using for far too long. After the last week, Trump is clearly a man who puts the dick in dictator. He’s a fanboy of Putin, Kim, Duterte, and a dog’s breakfast of the worst examples of oppression, thuggery, and anti-Western values the globe has to offer.

  15. bostonboomer says:

  16. Pat Johnson says:

    I don’t think it is an overestimation to suggest that this is a very dark place in our history.

    We are being “led” by a mentally ill narcissist, a lying fraud, a traitorous buffoon, an ignorant imbecile, who is more dangerous than a nuclear missile.

    Worse, he is surrounded by like minded creeps who feed his ego, enable his incoherency, and ignore the insanity that he creates.

    We are lied to repeatedly. We are “assured” that those lies are merely fodder for “the base” who eagerly support this criminal administration and look upon this evil man as a “leader”.

    We have had some beauts over the course of our nation’s founding but nothing quite as bad as this. There was a time that we could look to congress to do their job of upholding the “checks and balances” written into our foundation of democracy. No more.

    Egregious behavior and a pattern of daily lies are ignored. The frustration is palpable. We ask ourselves can it get any worse and lo and behold it does!

    Truth is we have met the enemy and it is us. Never expected it to get this bad.

  17. dakinikat says:

    Ex-Trump campaign officials are now appearing with pro-Moscow separatist leaders
    A surprise meeting in Bosnia continues a strange string of appearances in the Balkans.

    From California to Texas, Catalonia to Crimea, Russia has an extensive track record over the past few years of helping stoke separatist groups across Europe and the United States.

    Now, though, a new force may have entered the game of helping secessionists along: former campaign officials for President Donald Trump.

    Late last week, a series of reports from local outlets across Bosnia and Herzegovina reported that a pair of former Trump campaign officials met with Zeljka Cvijanovic, the current prime minister of Republika Srpska (RS), a Bosnian Serb enclave whose local leadership has spent the past few years advocating for the breakup of the country.

    According to reports in both Alternativna TV and N1, Cvijanovic met in Banja Luka with Jason Osborne and Mike Rubino, a pair of American political consultants. It’s unclear why Cvijanovic elected to meet publicly with Rudino and Osborne, both of whom had key roles on Trump’s campaign and have worked closely with Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager.

    … not good … trying to break up NATO and the Eurozone

    • Pat Johnson says:

      And where in hell is congress?

      Failure to respond is treasonous IMHO.

      Yet they sit there, doing nothing to stop this monster.

      • dakinikat says:

        Here’s a sweet little white gal from Baton Rouge who is trying to blow smoke up every one’s ass on a thread General Honore created to show outrage on the separation policy.

        “the race card doesn’t fit this conversation. It’s no crime to be born black or brown .
        There are laws in place in this country and our president is doing his job
        And he will be elected again
        We the American people should be praying for him and supporting him to do his job . The Bible is clear to obey the laws of the land .
        Argue with God ! ”

        Another quoting the same damn verse used to say stay loyal to britain US colonies and Slavery is fine and dandy and Sessions latest on jailing infants
        .…/obtaining-asylum-united-states “To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process you must be physically present in the United States. You may apply for asylum status regardless of how you arrived in the United States or your current immigration status.”

        Is my damn quote to say they’re not doing a damn illegal thing!

        • dakinikat says:

          while the Methodists tell Jeff Sessions he’s full of shit:

          Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a United Methodist, and he is also the face of the Trump administration’s widely condemned policy of separating migrant children from their families at the border. In a Friday statement slamming the policy as “a shocking violation of the spirit of the Gospel,” the United Methodist Church registered its dissent to Sessions’ use of the Bible to defend the separations:

          Jesus is our way, our truth, our life. The Christ we follow would have no part in ripping children from their mothers’ arms or shunning those fleeing violence. It is unimaginable that faith leaders even have to say that these policies are antithetical to the teachings of Christ.

          Christian sacred texts should never be used to justify policies that oppress or harm children and families. [United Methodist Church]

          The statement explicitly called out Sessions as a “fellow United Methodist,” asking him to reverse the decision to split up families. It noted that the close context of the passage Sessions cited, Romans 13, includes instructions for Christians to “extend hospitality to strangers” and to do “no wrong to a neighbor.”

    • dakinikat says:

      Arron Banks, Brexit and the Russia connection
      An 18-month investigation leads to a trail of new evidence showing the ‘bad boys of Brexit’ had closer links to Russia and its ambassador than they have disclosed

      I have a different relationship to this story, to these revelations, perhaps, than most. Because I have experienced the impact of this relationship with Russia, first-hand. I have felt it and lived it – viscerally, emotionally. But it was always there, out in the open. There was nothing hidden or covert about the hundreds of social media postings and tweets that showed Leave.EU’s and Farage’s support of Russian policies and the Russian political agenda. What I hadn’t contemplated, until now, was that this may have been co-ordinated with the Russian government.

      That Banks and Wigmore may have been communicating with the embassy when they were launching these attacks. That they may have sent other “messages of support” to the Russian ambassador when May made that speech, or I wrote my articles, or Bradshaw and Bryant asked their questions.

      Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore have declined to answer any questions the Observer put to him.

      • NW Luna says:

        It’s so fcking obvious! It’s been so fcking obvious all along! The treasonous Republicans are kompromatted up to their eyeballs except for a few who talk courageously and then turn into sheep to vote.

        • dakinikat says:

          just heard this from BB: “President Donald Trump stunned his fellow world leaders at the G7 meeting when he said he would ship “25 million” Mexicans to Japan, which would result in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe losing his next election.

          During the gathering in Quebec — which ended with Trump leaving early and refusing to sign the traditional joint communique — the president was talking about what he called Europe’s immigration problem when he turned his attention to the Japanese leader.

          “Shinzo, you don’t have this problem, but I can send you 25 million Mexicans and you’ll be out of office very soon,” Trump said, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a senior EU official who was in the room.”

  18. dakinikat says:

  19. Jslat says:

    Well, Jeff Sessions, be very very careful about using Scripture to justify abominable practices.
    And the administration is held accountable!