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CALL YOUR SENATORS to demand action on the nearly 1500 migrant children “lost” by HHS

Trump doesn’t care about brown children

By David Futrelle

I haven’t done one of these CALL YOUR REPS posts in a while, but the news that the the Department of Health and Human Services has “lost” nearly 1500 migrant children, most of them fleeing violence in Central America, has made me feel sick. PLEASE CALL your Senators to demand that those responsible be held accountable for this, And demand that the Department of Homeland Security cease its policy of separating families at the border.

If you don’t have your Senators’ numbers already, go to 5calls.org.

Here’s some more details on the story from the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — A top official with the Department of Health and Human Services told members of Congress on Thursday that the agency had lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children it placed with sponsors in the United States, raising concerns they could end up in the hands of human traffickers or be used as laborers by people posing as relatives.

The official, Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary of the agency’s Administration for Children and Families, disclosed during testimony before a Senate homeland security subcommittee that the agency had learned of the missing children after placing calls to the people who took responsibility for them when they were released from government custody.

The children were taken into government care after they showed up alone at the Southwest border. Most of the children are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, and were fleeing drug cartels, gang violence and domestic abuse, government data shows.

At an anti-abortion event earlier this week, Trump declared sanctimoniously that “every child is a precious gift from God.” But apparently that only applies if they’re white.

What the fuck kind of country are we living in?

42 replies on “CALL YOUR SENATORS to demand action on the nearly 1500 migrant children “lost” by HHS”

Already did. I’ve been a mess about this all day. I don’t know what else to do.

Today has been an utter cavalcade of horrors. I’ve been upset about this since before even getting out of bed. The depths of their evil’s got all hell for a basement.

Trump supporters can go and choke on their economic anxieties.

Made the call. Glad to see Senators going in on this. How the hell does one lose 1500 kids?!

Good luck getting repubs to care about this. They probably see it as a good thing.

We’re officially living in one of the worst timelines, I think….

Worth also noting the ACLU’s allegations against ICE:

https://splinternews.com/aclu-alleges-horrific-abuse-of-children-by-border-patro-1826267595?utm_campaign=socialflow_splinter_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_source=splinter_twitter

This dates back to before Trump, they were starving and raping children under Obama. There should be war crimes trials over this, or at least some kind of trials. I want to see prison sentences, but I don’t expect any, because of course not.

Called up my Senators when the thing about the missing kids came out, but again, I don’t expect anything to come of it. Will call again.

TBH, I’m scared by how easily I’ve gotten numb to suffering outside my social circles, and also by how ineffectual and complicit Democrats have been. Almost all of them voted for SESTA/FOSTA, almost all of them voted for Serve And Protect. They keep confirming his nominations even when they’re unqualified, incompetent, and just plain horrible.

IDK, it’s just so easy to lose hope. I know that’s extremely dangerous, but still, it’s hard not to.

One other thing I wanted to mention. Doesn’t quite fit. I feel like America has always, as long as I’ve known it, had a really strong drive towards sadism. Bullying, misogynist porn, conservative ideology, just the whole general atmosphere.

It’s not just a sense of literal sadism being culturally okay, it’s like… a sense of obligation towards pain? That creating suffering is unnecessary, useless, wrong, evil, and uncivilized, but Has To Be Done Because It Is Necessary Even Though We Can’t Explain Why. Like Omelas writ large. I wonder if it’s an artifact of our origins in genocide and slavery, some kind of deeply ingrained idea that *someone* must be made to suffer because the social order will collapse otherwise.

But when I saw Trump first getting serious about 2016 ticket, I got really scared, because I saw he was appealing to that ingrained sadism. I found myself thinking, “He’s going to win *because* he’s so relentlessly cruel.” The gleeful sadism is a feature, not a bug. (And one that he shares with totalitarian leaders in general, if Arendt is correct.)

IDK where I’m going with this, it just scares the living daylights out of me.

Given what we know about right-wing projection, what odds can I get that they’ll turn out to be in the basement of a pizza shop?

also by how ineffectual and complicit Democrats have been. Almost all of them voted for SESTA/FOSTA, almost all of them voted for Serve And Protect. They keep confirming his nominations even when they’re unqualified, incompetent, and just plain horrible.

This is because the Democrats are a right-wing party and always have been.

@Dalillama: true, but it’s still been shocking for me to see in action to this extent. That may be a measure of how sheltered/privileged I was in some ways until recently, IDK.

SESTA/FOSTA was where it really hit me TBH. Though considering the propensities of rich and powerful men, and considering how the bill creates conditions favoring pimps and clients, I wonder how much of its support was self-serving in ways other than just PR.

OMG, I didn’t know this and my mind went to very dark places imagining where these children might be. I will call my senators – I will even try and get an actual snail mail letter off to them about this – these poor children.

David, I’m with you. I don’t know what kind of a world we are living in – and so many things seem to be snowballing.

@Cybergette – I like the sadism theory and your general description. I was taught in college that America is still culturally puritanical. In the past few years, I’ve really been able to see this with a clarity like never before. I think the puritanism and the sadism are connected, especially in the drive to sadism because it is a duty that you describe. How do we break people out of this misplaced ethic?

Horrendous and terrifying. Good luck everyone with a US representative to call: I hope you get through to them.

Here in England, the appalling local Conservative MP came back from maternity leave with her baby in a sling – in order to vote that the government should renege on its promise to accept some unaccompanied child refugees.

Soon after that, the refugee camp at Calais was stomped, the people dispersed, and at least 30 children who were living there are currently unaccounted for.

Re: Trump’s “every pregnancy is a gift of God” – anyone like to take bets on how soon it will be before we discover how many abortions he has paid for? Via a dodgy lawyer, most likely.

Trying to find out if anything can be done to help from outside the US, too.
Those poor kids and their families.

This is just…

I have often thought “What is wrong with you people?” probably a couple of thousand times in the past two years. But this?

Look, we have to have borders, and we need to try to make sure those who enter are not criminals, etc. There is no reason to think of those who want to come here are bad or evil. Shit I, and a huge majority of people in the US are the descendants of people who wanted to come here. Our whole county is full of the children of people who had enough gumption to try to better their lives. I’ve always thought that that was part of what gave the US a bit more of a spark than other places. Of course, the idea that the US has more spark than other places is bullshit—an idea left over from childhood indoctrination— but I still think immagents provide a huge amount of energy, because they are not so fucking complacent.

The only possible reason for dehumanizing these people at all is florid racism. That has been going on a long time. But this? This is more like Nazi Germany than my country.

So I say again, once more, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

There should be riots in the streets. Instead a bunch of people who think they are more or less moral and decent people are going to vote for these evil fuckers. Again.

Aaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh

@AuntieMameRedux

Yes, I think you’re right re puritanical attitudes and sadism going together. One of the big common denominators for abusively behavior is the abuser saying, “This is for your own good.”

@AuntieMameRedux

Re breaking people out of the ethic, I think a good start on the small scale is making cruelty unacceptable person-to-person and within communities. Calling out people on it when they engage in it, and making them feel remorse or at least shame, whether they’re coming from a sadistic and malicious or more banally evil place.

But then I keep seeing this turn into vengeance mobbing against even further marginalized people, so… IDK.

On a certain level I feel like there’s no substitute for a majority of people being able to say about something cruel: “No, that’s fucked up and I’m not doing it.” If people don’t have that basic benchmark – about torture, about bullying and sexual abuse, about social mobbing, about free market economics, whatever – then I have no idea how to reach them or fix things.

Want to get even angrier?
In immigration courts, people have to present their own case (or hire their own lawyer) as there is no requirement that anyone be provided with legal representation, because it is not a criminal court.

Children may have to represent themselves in immigration court – where Federal judges have argued that children as young as THREE years old can be coached in enough immigration law to represent themselves.

Any judge who would say this does not care about justice being wrung out of the law, but using the law as a pro forma rationalization to ignore justice – “Hey, we gave them their day in court! So what if they were only 3?”

John Oliver on immigration courts:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fB0GBwJ2QA

ACLU on children in immigration courts: https://www.aclu.org/blog/how-can-3-year-old-represent-himself-court

(BYW, John Oliver poses as a comedy commentator, but does a fantastic job of presenting background information on various political and social issues.)

It’s been confirmed that “Some” (read: Most if not all) of them were “Given” (read: Sold) to child sex traffickers.

*sighs* -.-#

Given what we know about right-wing projection, what odds can I get that they’ll turn out to be in the basement of a pizza shop?

Try the basement of Trump “Modelling” Agency.

@Otrame: Sorry to say this, but your country has always been more like Nazi Germany than you’d like to admit…

@David: Sorry for misremembering my screen-name, my browser no longer auto-fills my details on here.

@Otrame: Institutionalized and blatant racism is not a bug, it’s so intimately woven into the fabric of capitalist representative democracy that the only way to rectify it is to tear the entire system down and build a new society on the rubble-pile.

Look, we have to have borders, and we need to try to make sure those who enter are not criminals, etc.

I strongly disagree. Freedom of movement shouldn’t be just for rich white folk.

Criminals aren’t trying to get in, that’s just bullshit scare stories.

I think this is the clearest litmus test of character I’ve seen so far during this administration. If you’re not outraged by this situation, there’s something very wrong with you, and fuck you and your economic anxiety.

From Wonkette: Trump Says ICE Will Keep Losing Migrant Children Until Democrats Give In To His Demands:

This morning, among other ridiculous things (so hard to choose sometimes!, Donald J. Trump sent out a tweet demanding that people put pressure on Democrats to end the law that separates children from their parents at the border. You know, the law that has resulted in ICE losing about 1500 children, many of whom have likely ended up in the hands of human traffickers — as Wonkette told you in April. This is, of course, rather confusing as this “horrible law” is his administration’s own doing.

Trump’s tweet:

Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the Border into the U.S. Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS.

By all means, put pressure on the Democrats. Put pressure on everyone!

Trump’s tweet is just the morality of the hostage taker and the domestic abuser.

“If you don’t do what I say, I’ll hurt people, and it’ll be your fault.”

I’m very angry about this at the moment. An immigration lawyer friend called me in tears during the week. She’s been trying to stop a deportation, pending the person getting an actual hearing, and the way ICE have been acting is like something out of a dystopian fiction. They moved her client from Seattle to Arizona so she couldn’t have access to her. Then when she actually got the stay, ICE had put her client on a plane to Honduras anyway. They literally deported her at three in the morning so the court wouldn’t be open. As it happens my friend managed to threaten the airline with contempt proceedings, so they brought her back. But all that does is give her a chance to argue her case. Ironically she has to show that if she is sent back to Honduras, she faces a “genuine and well founded fear of persecution”. Well of course she can get that in the US. Oh, and whilst all this is going on, her 14 year old kid is in another detention centre somewhere.

I know Nazi analogues are too common in political discourse, but ICE really are just Einsatzgruppen.

@Otrame

This is more like Nazi Germany than my country.

The U.S. was a role model for Nazi Germany. Particularly our dealings with the indigenous peoples.

Borders are bullshit, the people who are the biggest criminals are the ones sitting in boardrooms and legislatures who get VIP escorts across the same borders they’re trying to thicken, and ICE especially is basically Trump’s private Gestapo and needs to be abolished.

@Tovius
That too. Their main problem with our treatment of black people was the haphazard, harum-scarum nature of it all. The SS considered the KKK to be undisciplined amateurs, hardly deserving of the name of death squads.

@Zemlya

the people who are the biggest criminals are the ones sitting in boardrooms and legislatures who get VIP escorts across the same borders they’re trying to thicken

“The law will hang the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose”

Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the Border into the U.S

In a rare moment of honesty and clarity, trump is telling us that the republicans will never oppose these laws and only the dems might be able to do anything about them.

Thanks for that link EJ. You know one of my common moans is that reports of legal matters are invariably inaccurate; so it’s good to see someone explain the actuality.

Of course, being a woman on the internet who has the audacity to know what’s she’s on about, I’m disappointed, but not surprised, to see Josie getting all the abuse and vitriol.

@EJ

I saw a lot of people on Twitter figuratively running around with their hair on fire this weekend over this story. I think an apt historical comparison is the 60s Scoop, where thousands of aboriginal children were taken from their parents in the 1960s by the Canadian government. If the government monitoring of those children wavered (and I’m not up on the details of the Scoop), it was probably a blessing in disguise, but the real crime was the first thing that happened: ripping children away from their parents.

@Katamount

The 1500 children in this case were not removed from their parents by the US government; they were unaccompanied minors that were sent to the states to flee violence in Honduras, etc.

The government IS removing children from their parents, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not what happened to THESE kids.

It’s a meaningless distinction in my mind.

One part of ICE lost thousands of unaccompanied minors.

Another part of ICE is creating thousands of unaccompanied minors by separating them from their parents who are accompanying them, then handing them to the care of the first part.

I don’t know that it’s a meaningless distinction, necessarily. It’s more like it’s two ugly sides of one very big problem. Since ICE is known for being particularly draconian and cruel and eager to victimize people, the guardians of the unaccompanied minors (who are often immigrants, documented or otherwise, since a best effort is made to place the kids with people who are related to them somehow) have a vested interest in avoiding ICE whenever possible. This makes it difficult for ICE to check up on the kids and determine which children were placed in unsafe conditions/trafficked and which ones are just with people who have a justified wariness and avoidance of ICE.

Oh gods, this is horrible, those poor children! They’ve already lived through violence, had to leave their families to try to get to safety, and now gods alone know where they are and what’s happening to them.

It’s the stuff of nightmares.

Not even the slightest bit surprised by this. Seriously, we Latinos have never been considered as human by the US, which is why we’re always being targeted with discriminatory policies, or getting our countries fucking invaded to install some asshole dictator favorable to your interests.

This is because the Democrats are a right-wing party and always have been.

Let’s not fucking forget they backed the Coup in Honduras and put Republicans in charge of overseeing the election. Which, btw, was fraught with irregularities and fraud.

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