I hesitate to delve into a political discussion as they rarely end well. Nevertheless I have to ask is what’s going on in the US under Trump as awful as it’s being portrayed over here.
Watching the Mexican children being taken from their parents and screaming as they were put into detention camps has just been horrific and anathema to everything us Europeans have been brought up to believe modern America stands for.
There’s report after report of appalling policies and behaviour by Trump yet he seems to be thriving.
So are we getting a biased account of the state of play in the US or is it really that bad.
They aren't Mexican, Ellie. At least not the big majority of them (Mexican government said only 23 were from Mexico and apparently they are with their families now). They are from Central America and they fled from war. Mexico has years of acting like a henchman to the USA and used to help past governments to stop migrants. Now there's not a good relationship with the USA.
Also it's not something new. The awful cages were actually implemented by Obama administration. I just saw this great thread about his policies:
He was awful on immigration and, of course, Trump is positioning himself to be even worse, with the added factor that he is dumb so he isn't even trying to hide it (like Obama tried. Although I remember articles in the NYT but somehow they didn't tarnished his image!). Trump implemented the separation of families and members of his administration openly talked about it! I guess that's why finally everyone is talking about it!
This is completely on Trump. Six weeks ago he instituted a zero tolerance policy for illegal border crossings. Most of these refugees are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In order to request asylum in the US, you need to present yourself at a port of entry. If you do that, your family will not be separated. However, officials at ports of entry are telling people they’re overwhelmed and can’t be processed. They’re sending folks away. So people are hanging out for days and finally try to cross illegally, getting arrested and the family separated. Others are just crossing illegally. There are some cases of children arriving w/out family members, child slave trafficking, etc, as there have always been.
Crossing illegally is a misdemeanor (equivalent to a parking ticket), but now they are being prosecuted and families separated. The parents are usually deported within 48 hours, but by then the children are god knows where (they’re being flown to facilities all over the country) and aren’t returned to the parents. Many of those children will probably never see their parents again. They can’t possibly keep track of thousands of children who are being handled by a different governmental agency. There aren’t enough judges to oversee these cases, but Trump won’t allow the hiring of more judges to speed up the process.
The tents and cages they’re storing these kids in appear to be comfortable, air conditioned, adequate food (that we know of), but the children are being traumatized by the very situation of being separated. They are essentially in jail. The caretakers are not allowed to touch the children, so there is little they can do to counter the terror the kids are going through. The kids are screaming and crying. Hundreds of babies are being held in “tender age” facilities. Babies!
Our legislators are dithering as usual. Some say Trump needs to fix the policy because he caused it. Trump and his group are spreading lies and saying this was caused by the democrats and Congress needs to solve it. It’s a mess. Many folks believe that Trump caused this chaos on purpose to hold the kids hostage in exchange for approval to build his god damn wall.
The press (and Senators!) are not being allowed in the detention centers/internment camps, so all we have is some sneaky footage being smuggled out and what is being distributed by the government (which no one trusts, obviously).
I was in tears last night for hours. This is horrible and wrong. Trump is a depraved monster. There is a lot of misinformation and flat out lies being spread, and the fascist leaning assholes in the general population are emboldened now to compare these refugees to animals and pests. It’s disgusting.
The news reports of crying children kind of bother me because it shouldn't matter at all if the children are crying. Even if the children were sitting quietly, it would still be wrong that they've been taken from their parents. Crying is not necessary for something to be wrong. In my family, my older sister apparently cried continuously, night and day, when she was a baby. My mother still tells stories about how she was going out of her mind with this little screaming baby! But then when I came along, I never cried at all. My mother would leave us with my aunt while she was at work, and would worry that I would go all day without ever being picked up because I never made a fuss like my sister and my cousins. Two babies, same experience, different reactions.
Taking children from their parents is unacceptable, even if they're not crying, even if they're laughing and playing.
I have to say that I would never want to live in the US, even though Trump acts as though the whole world is desperate to get in there. I'm very happy here in Canada! I can't begin to imagine what it's like to worry about medical bills - something unheard of for us! Sure, we pay a lot more in taxes, but it's well worth it.
You're right mllemass, that it shouldn't take images of crying children for people to realize how horrible this is. But right now in the US, emotions are driving the bus in many ways. Without the heartbreaking images, some people just wouldn't get it.
Lots of people would get it anyway, but the photos and onscene reports are energizing people and driving them to do something, anything to try to get the Trump administration to stop this.
I was at a town-hall meeting this weekend , where our local US Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke and did a Q&A. (She is firmly against this policy). There were lots of great questions and discussions, But this new separation/zero-tolerance policy, the harm it is causing innocent children and the need to stop it was the issue that provoked the strongest response- people were in tears,people were clamoring, were desperate for some way, anything they could do to make this stop right now (these kids can't wait until the November election). People were figuring out plans to bombard Congressional and local government leaders with demands they take action, getting buses to go to the border, detention centers to protest.
A few days later our state governor Baker changed course and decided not to send State National Guard to assist ICE and BP and he denounced the family separation policy calling it "cruel and inhumane". (He's a Republican, so this new stance is against his party's stance)
As the horrible emotional images are being spread and discussed, it has driven people to action, pressuring their government representatives and planning widespread demonstrations in over 100 cities across the country .
Just now , Trump has said * he will sign an order to end the separation policy (something he could have done weeks ago). So these reports and public outcries are having some effect.
Sorry to go on a bit, but this is just unconscionable. Yeah, a lot of bad stuff has happened and been done before, but this is happening now, carried out by people who then lie about what they are doing, whether they are doing it, whether it's their fault, whether it's required by law, whether they are justified . It's downright evil .
* Trump says a lot of things, much of it not true, so we shall see.
Last Edit: Jun 20, 2018 17:14:15 GMT by Hannah Lee
The US has withdrawn from the UN human rights council, probably before it gets kicked out. I’m from the US, and my heart is broken. I’m afraid that conditions are worse than we’re being allowed to see. There’s no way to know what’s real. If we even get through this, we’re creating a generation of terrorists. I’ve always been proud to be American, but no longer.
Update—the great pumpkin has signed an order eliminating the separation of families. Common wisdom is that when something happens with Trump (like the visit to N Korea and so many of his tweets),it’s just to serve as distraction from the investigation into his corruption. So you see how much our faith in our government has eroded.
I just hope people don’t forget the issue with the EO. These things seems to work in cycles of anger and then after a small vistory, oblivion. Practically it’s a crime to cross the border now even when asking for asylum so probably the separation of families will continue because they can’t sent kids to (oficial) jails.
This article from today show how the problem is even bigger and even more disturbing than people think:
The woman who recorded and released the awful audios of little kids crying after being separated of their parents is this wonderful investigative journalist called Ginger Thompson. She has wrote extensively about Mexico’s war on drugs and she is writing about these centers. It would be very interesting to read what she has to say.