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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Immigrant family separations ~ irreparable psychological harm

The health impact of separating migrant children from parents

By Jessica Lussenhop BBC News, North America reporter

Pediatric and child trauma experts are sounding the alarm that separating migrant children from their parents at the US border can cause serious physical and psychological damage.
Official images of the tent city for migrant children in Tornillo, Texas
As more stories emerge about children being separated from their parents at the border between Mexico and the US, doctors and scientists are warning that there could be long-term, irreversible health impacts on children if they're not swiftly reunited.
The head of the American Academy of Pediatrics went so far as to call the policy "child abuse" and against "everything we stand for as pediatricians".

"We just know the science does not support that this is good for kids," 
says Charles A Nelson III, a professor of pediatrics and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School.
From mid-April to May this year, the US Department of Homeland Security says it has separated nearly 2,000 children from their parents, after the families crossed the border into the US. The adults are being jailed and prosecuted for illegal border crossing under a new "zero-tolerance" policy enacted by the Trump administration, while their children are moved into shelters overseen by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

May figures from the Department of Health and Human Services show children are being held an average of 57 days, but there have been reports of months-long separations and parents deported back across the border without knowing where their children are located.

Department of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters on Monday that the children are well-looked after.

"We have high standards. We give them meals and we give them education and we give them medical care. There are videos, there are TVs," she said.

However, pediatric health care professionals say that just because the children are well-fed and physically safe doesn't address the risk of long-term negative impacts on their immune systems, the development of their brains and even the shape of their personalities.

"The only times we do this is in a child welfare system when the child is in imminent harm," says Chandra Ghosh Ippen, associate director of the Child Trauma Research Program.

"We're causing irreparable harm when it's not necessary."

Short-term impact
Scientists say the moment of separation is all but guaranteed to be traumatic and panic-inducing in both children and parents, which will trigger elevated levels of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, elevated heart and blood pressure, anxiety, and symptoms like headaches and an upset stomach.

Jack P Shonkoff, director of the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, says it is incorrect to assume that some of the youngest children removed from their parents' care will be too young to remember and therefore relatively unharmed.

"When that stress system stays activated for a significant period of time, it can have a wear and tear effect biologically. The younger you are, the more serious the threat."

The children may eventually stop crying and some of the initial shock will diminish, says Shonkoff, but that's not a reason to believe they are no longer in distress.

"They're not flailing and screaming, [but] underneath in their bodies, their stress system is still highly activated - silently, invisibly," he says.

Ghosh Ippen says that emotionally, some children may be pushed into a state of "traumatic bereavement". Tantrum-like behaviour could be replaced with profound anxiety and depression.

"Everything they know has disappeared. The child is in despair," she says.


Long-term impact

The extent of the long-term damage done to children depends on the duration of separation, as well as the ages of the children, say researchers.

"Duration is very important," says Shonkoff. "Forcible separation for a few hours is very traumatic, but if the children are immediately reunited with their mothers and fathers they're going to be OK."

Eventually, Nelson says, highly-activated stress systems will begin to cause wear and tear on the physical structures of the brain.

Nelson is a principal investigator on the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, a long-term study of 136 abandoned infants and toddlers who wound up in orphanages in Romania in 2000. Nelson and his colleagues have been following the children for 18 years, and says they have observed very different patterns of brain activity in children who were placed in foster care versus those who stayed in an institution.

"What we see in kids who have been reared in institutions, that is separation from their parents, is a dramatic reduction in the brain's electrical activity," he says. "If they're then removed and put into good homes before the age of two, a lot of this recovers. But if they're older than two, meaning, say, the separation has occurred for two years, there's no recovery. The brain continues to produce dramatically less brain activity."

Over the long term, Nelson also observed that the brains of children who were separated from their parents had a "dramatic reduction in grey matter" and that even when placed in foster care, there was only a small recovery in white matter.

Children may develop long-term psychological conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and separation anxiety, and run a higher risk of developing heart disease and diabetes later in life. There is also the possibility of behavioural impacts. Nelson says children - boys in particular - may begin exhibiting a "callous indifference" for the feelings of others. They may have difficulties with memory, impulse control and become more prone toward delinquent behaviour.

"The other complexity here is we don't know the kids' histories, so if they're fleeing a country that has a lot of conflict," says Nelson. "If the children have already been exposed to highly levels of trauma-related things, then this is going to be that much worse."


The broader impact

Ghosh Ippen says that even if we assume all the children will one day be reunited with their parents, there's no telling what the total collateral damage of this policy will be on the children, their parents, their extended families and even on the government workers who have been charged with attending to them.

"This is going to have negative ripple effects for years to come," she says.

Health care professionals are calling for the government to release more information about the kind of mental health care separated children are getting in shelters, but Shonkoff says that in some ways, debating those kinds of interventions is thinking about the problem backwards.

"The answer is, the best intervention by far is to reunite them with their parents," he says.

"[It's as] if children were being fed poison and we asked, 'What's the best treatment for the poison they're getting?' The logical and scientific question is not to come up with the antidote for the poison, it's to stop poisoning them."

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Immigration reform is *not* putting children in cages ~ Bismark North Dakota echo opinion

Although the immigration issue in America has to do with with a porous southern border, but separating babies and small children from their parents and putting them in detention facilities is unacceptable. This is unethical and not the way to create immigration reform policies.
Even with the separation policy having been revoked on Wednesday by Donald Trump’s executive order, in fact, the directive that created the separation in the first place shows just how much the Republicans who supported this unhumanitarian order have lost, at least temporarily, their moral compass.
Our nation, the one the world used to look up to for setting the standard for freedom and equality, has been taking children from their parents and locking them in cages. Babies as young as 8 months have been taken from their parents at the Mexican border and sent to foster care as far away as Michigan. Thousands of parents have lost track of their children.
We should know better from past experience.
The U.S. took Native American children away from their families and sent them to boarding schools. The country tried to take their religion and culture away from them and make them act like whites. In World War II this country interned Japanese-Americans on the pretense they posed a security threat. We also stole their homes and businesses. The country didn’t lock up German-Americans, which is fortunate for North Dakota with its large German population. They were immigrants who helped settle what’s now North Dakota.
Immigration cages
The separation of families was adopted under a zero-tolerance program by the Trump administration to protect the border. Officials said they had no choice but to follow the law. Trump blames Democrats for forcing him to enforce the law. The responsibility, however, lies with the administration, which had the authority to end the policy. Trump exercised that authority Wednesday when he signed an executive order halting the policy. There’s no doubt the children were traumatized.
Dr. Colleen Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, visited a shelter along the U.S.-Mexico border to find out the impact on children and talked to the Washington Post about what she saw. In one case, a girl no more than 2 years old was screaming and pounding her fists on a mat. A shelter worker tried to give her books and toys, but neither the worker nor Kraft was allowed to pick up the child to comfort her. The rule at the shelter was don’t touch the children.
The girl had been taken from her mother the night before, Kraft told the Post. “The really devastating thing was that we all knew what was going on with this child. We all knew what the problem was. She didn’t have her mother and none of us can fix that.”
“The really basic, foundational need of having trust in adults as a young child was not being met. That contradicts everything we know that the kids need to build their health,” Kraft told the Post. That situation puts children at risk for toxic stress in their brains, which disrupts normal development and could lead to such problems as heart disease and substance abuse later in life, according to the children's doctors' organization.
Congress has failed to agree on immigration legislation. The House was moving toward a vote on two bills that would have ended the separation of families. The public outcry over the zero-tolerance policy forced Trump’s action. The separation of families shouldn’t have occurred. It’s disappointing that North Dakota’s congressional delegation wasn’t more vocal in its opposition to the policy.
Americans must be ashamed that the situation whereby families were separated was allowed to go so far. It’s time for Congress and the administration to reach agreement on an immigration policy. If they don’t, it’s likely another shameful episode will occur. Children and the nation’s reputation were the victims this time. This nation needs to find its moral compass and pursue real solutions that don’t involve caging children.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

The Nazi ideology of race embedded in language

‘INFEST’ — The Ugly Nazi History of Trump’s Chosen Verb About Immigrant  by Aviya Kushner

Aviya Kushner is The Forward’s language columnist and the author of “The Grammar of God.” Follow her on Twitter @AviyaKushner

When Donald Trump characterized immigrants as “animals,” some people waved it away, claiming he was only referring to gang members. But today’s use of “infest” in connection to human beings is impossible to ignore. The president’s tweet that immigrants will “infest our Country” includes an alarming verb choice for anyone with knowledge of history.

Characterizing people as vermin has historically been a precursor to murder and genocide. The Nazis built on centuries-old hatred of Jews as carriers of disease in a film titled “Der Ewige Jude,” or “The Eternal Jew.” As the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum notes on its website, in a section helpfully titled “Defining the Enemy”: One of the film’s most notorious sequences compares Jews to rats that carry contagion, flood the continent, and devour precious resources.

What is happening now is “defining the enemy.” Substitute “continent” for “Country,” capitalized, and you get the picture. The roots of the particular word “infest” are also telling. The English word comes from the French infester or Latin infestare ‘assail’, from infestus ‘hostile’. So yes, it’s a word rooted in hostility.

“Infest” also appears in Late Middle English, meaning “torment, harass.”

Many dictionaries confirm what we all know: that infest is used to indicate in contemporary American conversation to mean insects or animals taking over a space.

The use of the word “infest” by an American president was immediately noticed by reporters. 

The Washington Post’s White House correspondent, Seung Min Kim, was quick to point out “infest” in a tweet. Maggie Haberman, the White House correspondent for The New York Times, tweeted some additional context: 

“Also — insects infest. This public language about immigrants from a US president after, say, 1970, is remarkable.”

For anyone familiar with Nazi history — the exhibit of “Degenerate Art,” the film “The Eternal Jew” and the persistent campaign to paint Jews as vermin or animals, and certainly not human — the word “infest” is not only remarkable, but terrifying.

Scholars of Jewish literature and history have been sounding alarms over what is happening at the border and the language surrounding immigration. Ilan Stavans, the linguist, translator, Amherst College professor, and publisher of Restless Books, was born into a Jewish family in Mexico, and is the author of “Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language” as well as “Resurrecting Hebrew.” Earlier this week, Stavans tweeted:


The Trump Administration’s policy of separating children of their asylum-seeking Hispanic parents is spiteful. It is reminiscent of the Nazi strategy to divide Jewish families. Racism at its clearest. For how long will we remain silent? 

Are some families more sacred than others?

The last two questions posed by Stavans are especially important now; the verb “infest” is, indeed, to borrow a bit from Stavans, language at its clearest.

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Juneteenth ~ remembering the end of slavery~ echo from Abilene Texas


Remembering Juneteenth points all Americans toward the future ~ an echo opinion column published in the Reporter News, in Abilene Texas.

Juneteenth, also known as "Juneteenth Independence Day" or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas

By Anthony Williams, Abilene Texas 

https://www.reporternews.com/story/opinion/contributors/2018/06/19/remembering-juneteenth-points-all-americans-toward-future/712191002/
Abilene Texas ~ A friend of mine told me about something he’d read recently about an African-American woman and her stepdaughter.

It seems that the mom, a trained historian, wanted her stepdaughter to sit down with her and watch "The Long Walk Home," a powerful movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Sissy Spacek. It tells of the relationship between a white woman and her black housemaid during the 1955-56 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

To the mom’s surprise, her stepdaughter had no desire to watch the movie. When questioned, she said she hated “those type movies.” When asked why, the young girl responded that her generation was more interested in looking forward, rather than looking back, and that the days of the civil rights struggles were “so over.”

You know, part of me agrees with that young woman. Things are better now, on this 19th of June 2018, than they were for our forebears of the 1860s, 1890s and even those of the in -1900s. Because of the sacrifice and courage of people such as Dr. Martin Luther King and people of good will from all races, Americans of all ethnicities now enjoy greater legal protections and greater access to opportunity than ever before.

In a sense, the bad old days are, indeed, “so over.”

But in another sense, I’m saddened by this young girl’s words and attitude.

To lose touch with the past, to stop listening to the old stories and remembering the struggles of those who have gone before us is, it seems to me, to lose a big piece of who we are, as a race and as Americans. And so today, I want to touch base with the past, to remind myself and all of you what Juneteenth was, what it meant, and what it can still mean today, as we celebrate the blessings of freedom and opportunity.

I’m told that one of the first things early African-American leaders did in Texas was to purchase land. The simple truth was, they needed public space that was their own to hold the significant celebrations of this annual event that their communities needed and wanted. Though the Reconstruction promise of “40 acres and a mule” never came true, these recently freed peoples knew that if they had their own land, as individuals and as a group, that this would be an important first step toward claiming their place in American society.

In Houston, for example, in 1872, the Rev. Jack Yates, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, and the Rev. Elias Dibble of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church raised $1,000 from community leaders to buy 10 acres at the corner of Dowling and Elgin streets, a tract they named Emancipation Park.

For years, the African-American community in that neighborhood paid the taxes on the land and maintained it specifically for use as a gathering place for Juneteenth celebrations until 1916, when the city of Houston absorbed the land into its parks system. Similarly, in Mexia, a group of black people calling themselves the Nineteenth of June Organization bought 10 acres next to the Navasota River and named it Booker T. Washington Park.

Now, these may seem like isolated historical facts, but they point to the main thing I want to talk about: these folks knew Juneteenth was important, because it was “our” day: the day the law of the rest of the land finally came to Texas, the day our great-great-great-grandparents finally knew they were free.

These people in Houston and Mexia didn’t want to have to beg for a place to celebrate their day; they wanted to own it. And that’s what they did. Why? Because this was their day, and I want to tell you today that this is the same reason I’m proud to celebrate Juneteenth—because it’s my day; it’s part of my story, and the story I plan to pass on to my children.

My grandfather was a farmer in the Anson community. He made a modest income, picking cotton and raising hogs. He wasn’t ever a wealthy man, so he had to be careful with his money. But there was one day of the year he would splurge. Want to guess what day that was? Juneteenth.

Oh, he liked the Fourth of July. He didn’t mind Labor Day, or Memorial Day, or any other of the wonderful holidays we’re blessed with in the United States. 


Yet, Juneteenth was special, for people of my grandparents’ generation, because they felt as if they didn’t have to share it with any other group—it was theirs. And they made the most of it. Some of them would save up all year long, just so they could make Juneteenth memorable.

That made a powerful impression on me as a boy.

And I stand before you not just for the good food, good fellowship, the music, the art, the speeches by good-looking public officials — though those are all good things. I say we should hang onto the memory, and keep telling the story.

It’s a part of who we are, and forms the basis for what we will become.

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Time Magazine cover explains the evil policy

Geraldo Rivera to Hannity: 'When did we become the party of child abuse?'  "I do not condone child abuse," Rivera explained.

MaineWriter ~ even right wing media might be slowly waking up!

Fox News's Geraldo Rivera said late Tuesday that the Republican Party has become "the party of child abuse," referring to a Trump administration policy that has resulted in the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents.

Sean Hannity is a Donald Trump ventriloquist puppet.
Hannity's voice said: 

"The Democrats have a deal, a DACA fix, and a fix on separation for kids. [Senate Minority Leader Charles] Schumer’s answer is no. Why? Because he wants it for politics. They’re playing politics. Fix the law and do your job. That’s it," Fox News host Sean Hannity, referring to an Obama-era program protecting young immigrants, said in introducing an interview with Rivera.

But, ventriloquist dummy Sean Hannity received this as a reply:

"This is cruelty as policy. This is an obscenity," Rivera responded after some cross-talk.

"This is the government of the United States and the (stupid) president that we both (Ooh Paleeeeze!) love advocating a system by which young children are torn from their mothers," Rivera added. "History will judge us, Sean. ... We must take a stand on something."

"I agree. Here’s where we draw the line. I want no separation. The president and you supported him, offered a DACA fix and a fix on this law, as horrible as it is, immediately he’ll sign it," Hannity, a staunch supporter of the president, replied.

"No matter what the president has done or will say, this is the only thing people are thinking about," Rivera said.

"It can be fixed tomorrow," Hannity insisted.

“Twenty-three hundred children have been torn from their parents forcibly,” an emotional Rivera shot back. “These are little babies, 18 months old. These are 10-year-olds with disabilities taken from their parents. This is impossible. We can’t condone this. The Republicans are the party of faith and family."

“When did we become the party of child abuse?” Rivera added in disbelief.

The exchange came as the topic of migrant family separations dominated cable news discussion for a second straight day, with many segments featuring emotional calls for an end to the policy.

Hannity asked Rivera later in the interview if he supported an "emergency session of Congress, take the DACA, take the separation fix, take the funding of the wall, and both houses do their job and the president signs it. It can happen tomorrow."

"I agree. But before tomorrow, tonight, the president should end this policy," Rivera said.

"You aren’t answering the question," Hannity pressed.

"I do not condone child abuse," Rivera explained.

"Don’t play politics. You can’t be that naive," the host retorted.

"There are 2,300 babies without their mother tonight," Rivera noted.

"Congress should do their job," Hannity replied.

Several polls show considerable opposition to the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, with Quinnipiac showing a 66 to 27 percent margin against it and CNN showing only 28 percent approval.

Majorities of (wrong minded) Republicans in both polls, however, support the policy.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Nobel Committee condemns Donald Trump

A member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee is condemning President Trump for the "zero tolerance" immigration policy that has resulted in separated families, saying that the president is "no longer the moral leader of his country or the world."

"What is happening at the border where he is separating children from their parents is a sign that he is no longer the moral leader of his country or the world," Thorbjorn Jagland, who is also the secretary general of a human rights watchdog, Council of Europe, said, according to Agence France-Press.

"He cannot speak on behalf of the so-called free world," he added.

Many lawmakers previously supported the idea of Trump being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in convening a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this month. But Jagland and many other heads of human rights groups have spoken out against Trump this week for his immigration policy.

Trump is facing outrage from Democratic and Republican lawmakers over the policy, which led to the separation of approximately 2,000 children from their families from mid-April to the end of May, according to The Associated Press.

The House and Senate are both moving forward with legislation that would end Trump's "zero tolerance" policy, though it remains unclear when it may emerge through Congress.

Jagland also said that the decision to withdraw the U.S. from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday is another example that shows Trump "does not want to be part of international treaties or international cooperation-based organizations."

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Tearing families and "put them back together again"

(CNN) From the moment images of children being separated from their parents bubbled up in the national consciousness late last week, it became abundantly clear that something had to be done, and quickly.

Regardless of how we got to this point -- a decision by the Trump administration to put in place a "zero-tolerance" policy regarding people trying to enter the country illegally -- the images (and the audio) demanded action. 

Tearing kids away from parents, even parents who are trying to cross into the country illegally, gets beyond dry policy debates. 

Tragically, the separations are an emotional issue -- about who we are as a country and who we want to be.

And yet, President Donald Trump and his administration spent the better part of a week insisting that his hands were tied (they weren't) when it came to ending the crisis at the border. He called on Congress to act. He sent out the head of the Department of Homeland Security to insist that "Congress alone can fix it." Then on Wednesday afternoon -- even as the House was preparing to vote on an immigration bill on Thursday -- Trump suddenly announced he would be signing "something" that would end the separation of families at the border.

Later Wednesday, he signed an executive order to keep parents and kids together.

"We're signing an executive order. I consider it to be a very important executive order. It's about keeping families together, while at the same time being sure we have a very powerful, very strong border," Trump said.

If your head is spinning at that turn of events, you aren't alone.

In fact, you probably have that feeling in common with every Republican in Congress. Trump's announcement that he would sign an order to deal with family separation runs directly counter to what his White House was saying just hours earlier. 

In fact, the message from the White House went from "You guys need to fix this" to "Ah, hell, I'll just do it" in the blink of an eye.

That whipsawing came as the result of a fundamental miscalculation by Trump and his allies: That staking out a "tough" stand on the need to harden the border would counteract any agita caused by the "zero-tolerance" policy at the border. What Trump missed, and he reportedly acknowledged this in his huddle with House Republicans on Tuesday night, was the power of the images that were coming from the border. Images of kids crying as their parents were arrested and taken away. Audio of kids crying for their parents. Human suffering in words and pictures. Tough talk didn't hold a candle top what people were seeing on their TVs.

That miscalculation was bad. But it was compounded by another strategic decision by Trump: To cast the border crisis as something that not only wasn't his fault but that he was powerless to fix -- neither of which were true.

"The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda," Trump tweeted last Friday. "Any Immigration Bill MUST HAVE full funding for the Wall, end Catch & Release, Visa Lottery and Chain, and go to Merit Based Immigration. Go for it! WIN!"

On Monday morning, Trump tweeted: "It is the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder [sic] Security and Crime. Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration. Change the laws!"

By that night, Trump's administration had doubled down on its powerlessness and blamelessness -- via a disastrously bad press conference by Kirstjen Nielsen, the head of the Department of Homeland Security.

"Congress and the courts created this problem and Congress alone can fix it," Nielsen said. "Until then, we will enforce every law we have on the books to defend the sovereignty and security of the United States. Those who criticize the enforcement of our laws have offered only one countermeasure: open borders, the quick release of all illegal alien families and the decision not to enforce our laws."

Ahem. Cough. Nervous collar tug.

Facts, for once, got in the way of that argument. Time and time again over the past five days, it was pointed out that the zero-tolerance policy -- coupled with the fact that children cannot be held in a federal prison -- was at the root of this crisis. And that just as easily as Attorney General Jeff Sessions put the zero-tolerance policy in place, Trump could rescind it, allowing law enforcement officials discretion as to who they referred for prosecution.


Caught in the middle of Trump's wild swerving? Republicans in Congress, who saw their already-complicated efforts to pass some sort of comprehensive immigration bill dealing with DACA and border wall funding made that much more difficult by Trump's demand that they solve the family separation policy for him.


Trump added to that chaos repeatedly, first by suggesting at the end of last week that he would veto the compromise plan backed by Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP leadership, and then on Tuesday night when he endorsed both the compromise bill and its conservative alternative -- providing more than enough cover for members of the House Freedom Caucus to oppose the compromise legislation.


Then, just hours after Ryan, in his weekly press conference, promised that Congress was going to solve or at the very least mitigate the border crisis with legislation that would get a vote on Thursday, Trump cut the legs out from that effort by announcing he was just going to take care of it despite the fact that he had said he couldn't take care of it less than 24 hours before.

The whole thing -- from beginning to (presumed) end -- was a debacle for Republicans trying to build momentum in advance of the November election. The Republicans just spent the better part of a week looking feckless amid pictures of children crying on our southern border. And, in the end, Donald Trump who is the leader of the GOP, completely reversed course from his previous rhetoric, leaving congressional Republicans holding the bag.

This was never going to be an easy issue for Trump, stuck as he was between his calls for toughened border policies and the pictures of children being taken from their parents. But the protracted process, the attempted (lies!) and obfuscation* of facts, the blame game, the jerking around of Republicans in Congress -- all made it much, much worse for Republicans.

*obfuscationmaking something obscure, unclear, or unintelligible

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Kirstjen Nielsen is responsible for executing immoral child separation policy

Kirstjen Nielsen United States Secretary of Homeland Security



With chants of "shame" and "end family separation," protesters shouted at Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as she dined at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, DC.

Response from Steve Schmidt on Twitter: @SteveSchmidtSES

Evil has always been abetted and enabled by moral midgets and bureaucrats like Kirstjen Nielsen. 

One day, when this vile era has passed, and her shame and deeds are etched into our national consciousness, she will no doubt say something like this, “ There is a need to draw a line between..."

Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen is responsible for executing this immoral child separation policy. 

Where exactly is the line she would be uncomfortable crossing? She was not jeered out of that restaurant because of TSA pat downs but rather because of her complicity in evil.

I have spent much of my life working in GOP politics. I have always believed that both parties were two of the most important institutions to the advancement of human freedom and dignity in the history of the world. 

Today the GOP has become a danger to our democracy and values.

Establishes internment camps for babies. Everyone of these complicit leaders will carry this shame through history. There legacies will be ones of well earned ignominy. 

Republicans have disgraced their country and brought dishonor to the Party of Abraham Lincoln.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Classy First Ladies in unison opposing immigrant family separations

All First Ladies

Here are statements from America's First Ladies, about the horrific actions against immigrant children, supported by the Donald Trump administration and opposed by all humanitarians and human rights advocates:

Mrs. Laura Bush: Laura Bush pens a scathing column on child separation as part of immigration policy- Former first lady Laura Bush spoke out Sunday night about the separation of families on the US border, writing a harsh criticism of the current zero-tolerance immigration policy being enforced under the Trump administration.

Mrs. Bush, whose opinion piece ran in The Washington Post, decries the separation of children from parents entering the United States illegally as "cruel" and "immoral." It's a rare public admonishment of current administration policy from Mrs. Bush, who has seldom weighed in on politics since her husband left office.

"I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart," Bush writes.

"Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso," she continues. "These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history."


Bush, who as first lady championed a formal platform of childhood education and literacy programs, blasts the current immigration situation unfolding in the headlines and on television news channels as not representative of the values of the United States.

"Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war," she writes. "We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We pride ourselves on acceptance. If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place."

Bush calls for "good people at all levels of government who can do better to fix this." She also invoked the name and memory of her mother-in-law, former first lady Barbara Bush, who died in April. Barbara Bush was also an advocate for children while her husband, George H.W. Bush, was in office. In one particularly memorable moment during her tenure almost three decades ago, Barbara Bush spent time with babies who had HIV/AIDS, picking them up and holding them.

"My mother-in-law never viewed her embrace of that fragile child as courageous. She simply saw it as the right thing to do in a world that can be arbitrary, unkind and even cruel," writes Bush. "She, who after the death of her 3-year-old daughter knew what it was to lose a child, believed that every child is deserving of human kindness, compassion and love. In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can."

Bush's op-ed comes on the heels of current first lady Melania Trump's spokeswoman weighing in on the issue on her behalf.

Melania Trump 'hates to see' children separated from their families at borders - Just hours before Bush's piece was published, Trump's communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN, "Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform. She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

Melania Trump weighed in through her spokeswoman on the immigration crisis taking place at America's borders.

"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told CNN on Sunday. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

Trump, who has made helping children the crux of her official "Be Best" platform as first lady, had yet to discuss the state of families and immigration, a topic that has been prominent in headlines for days.

Rosalynn Carter: Separating families at border is ‘a shame to our country'

Former first lady Rosalyn Carter ripped the Trump administration for separating migrant families at the border, calling the “zero tolerance” policy “disgraceful” and “a shame to our country.”
“When I was first lady, I worked to call attention to the plight of refugees fleeing Cambodia for Thailand, I visited Thailand and witnessed firsthand the trauma of parents and children separated by circumstance beyond their control,” Carter said in a statement obtained by ABC News.

“The practice and policy today of removing children from their parents’ care at our border with Mexico is disgraceful and a shame to our country," the statement continued.

Mrs. Michelle Obama referenced Mrs. Laura Bush's opinion published in The Washington Post. Mrs. Obama retweeted a link to Washington Post op-ed, writing, "Sometimes truth transcends party." 

Mrs. Hillary Clinton posted a message on Twitter: "What’s happening to families at the border right now is a humanitarian crisis. Every parent who has ever held a child in their arms, every human being with a sense of compassion and decency, should be outraged."

Additionally, Mrs. Laura Bush included her mother in law Barbara Bush in the opinion she wrote for The Washington Post.

In my opinion, our American First Ladies, as a group, are worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II ~ Mrs. Laura Bush

Laura Bush Calls Family Separations Cruel And Immoral

“People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer.”

Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities,” former first lady Laura Bush wrote in an editorial on Sunday.
Mrs. Laura Bush published opinion in The Washington Post

Former first lady Laura Bush issued a rare castigation of the Trump administration on Sunday, calling family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico “immoral” and drawing parallels to World War II internment camps.

Bush’s editorial in The Washington Post mirrored growing criticism of the Justice Department’s new policy to prosecute as many people as possible who cross the border illegally. The move, announced last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has already resulted in a massive spike in children being separated from their parents. Last week, DHS announced that nearly 2,000 kids had been separated from their parents during a six-week period ending last month. Many are currently being held in juvenile detention centers.

Mrs. Bush wrote:

“I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart. Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.”

The Bushes have been notably quiet throughout Donald Trump’s first term, just as they were during President Barack Obama’s presidency. Former President George W. Bush appeared to push back against White House policy last month when he warned about the “dangers of isolation” during an awards ceremony, but his wife’s editorial was a far starker rebuke.

“We pride ourselves on acceptance,” the former first lady wrote. 

“If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place. People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer.”

Several lawmakers and reporters have begun to release accounts about the detention centers, one of which now houses upwards of 1,400 children. MSNBC reporter Jacob Soboroff said last week that the facility he toured was “called a shelter but these kids are incarcerated.”

First lady Melania Trump appeared to offer her own criticism of the policy on Sunday, telling CNN through a spokeswoman that she “hates to see children separated from their families.”

Some criticized Melania's comments, however, for not going far enough.

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