Trump's War on Immigrants: The Latest

[Content Note: Nativism; abuse; dehumanization.]

Donald Trump's war on immigrants — migrants, refugees, undocumented, documented, and naturalized citizens — continues to expand in scope with each passing day and is doing untold harm to countless immigrant families. Here is some of the latest news.

1. Miriam Jordan, Katie Benner, Ron Nixon, and Caitlin Dickerson at the New York Times: As Migrant Families Are Reunited, Some Children Don't Recognize Their Mothers.
One mother had waited four months to wrap her arms around her little boy. Another had waited three months to see her little girl again.

When the reunions finally happened Tuesday in Phoenix, the mothers were met with cries of rejection from their children.

"He didn't recognize me," said Mirce Alba Lopez, 31, of her 3-year-old son, Ederson, her eyes welling up with tears. "My joy turned temporarily to sadness."

For Milka Pablo, 35, it was no different. Her 3-year-old daughter, Darly, screamed and tried to wiggle free from her mother's embrace.

..."I want Miss. I want Miss," Darly cried, calling for the social worker at the shelter where she had been living since mother and daughter were separated by federal agents at the southwestern border.

The tearful reunions — ordered by a court in California — came as the government said that it would release hundreds of migrant families wearing ankle bracelet monitors into the United States, effectively returning to the "catch and release" policy that [Donald] Trump promised to eliminate.

...As Ms. Lopez and Ms. Pablo waited at a Greyhound station to board eastbound buses, their children called each other sister and brother. They were yet to utter the word "mami," Spanish for mother, to the women cuddling, stroking, and feeding them. But they were calmer, the mothers said.

Darly, who had been potty-trained before the separation, had regressed to diapers. Ederson bounced up and down on his mother's lap and downed Doritos with gusto. All of the adults were fitted with ankle monitors.
Sob. I wish every person who inexplicably believes that everything is fine now that Trump says he's going to "reunite families" would read this story and understand how profoundly wrong they are. The separations have caused lasting trauma, to both children and parents. And that's in cases where families can be reunited, which does not represent remotely all of the cases of separation.

Far, far too many people received news of Trump's garbage executive order as a permission slip to get out of having to pay attention anymore, if they were even paying attention in the first place.

2. Justin Glawe and Adam Rawnsley at the Daily Beast: Government Told Immigrant Parents to Pay for DNA Tests to Get Kids Back, Advocate Says. "U.S. government officials recently told four immigrant women that they must pay for DNA tests in order to be reunited with their children, according to the shelter that housed the women. The tests are the latest ad hoc effort by the Trump administration to reunite families it had separated — in some cases because authorities took documents from adults proving they are related to their children. The tests are being administered by a private contractor on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, which oversees the care and housing of children. HHS has refused to name the contractor, which may be a violation of federal law."

As you might have guessed, many immigrant parents don't have the funds to pay for those DNA tests, which cost hundreds of dollars, so the shelter at which they're staying is having to foot the bill. Iliana Holguin, an immigration attorney who works with the shelter, said: "The government wants the parents to foot the bill for the DNA testing when they're the ones that caused the need for DNA testing. It's incredible."

3. E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: Immigration Fears Loom Large Amid Raging Wildfires in the West. "One blaze [in Colorado] is on course to become the second largest in state history. Almost a third of the nearly 50 wildfires currently burning in the United States are in Colorado and numerous evacuation notices have been issued for impacted areas. But many immigrants in the state would rather deal with the fire than the possibility of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The fires are breaking out in the midst of an increasingly hardline immigration crackdown by the Trump administration. While undocumented immigrants have always faced hurdles during natural disasters — including last year, when Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast — the current political environment is looming large as many are forced to make heart-wrenching decisions."

4. Sam Levin at the Guardian: 'They Thought They'd Die': ICE Shackled Women for Hours in Hot Van, Suit Says. "Immigration authorities in California shackled nine women in a hot windowless van for hours, causing them to struggle for breath, faint, and vomit, according to a new lawsuit that details claims of extreme suffering during a day-long journey last year. The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which filed the suit on Tuesday, alleged that the women were also denied food and water for roughly 12 hours during a 24-hour journey on a hot summer day in 2017, and that they experienced physical injuries, medical complications, and psychological damage during the protracted transfer. 'The women all thought they were going to die, that they were going to experience their last breath together in that van,' said Vasudha Talla, an ACLU staff attorney. 'The stench, the heat, the crying, the screaming — it was very traumatic for the women,' Talla said, adding that the women were 'treated like cargo.'"

5. Samantha Michaels at Mother Jones: The Feds Are Locking up Immigrant Kids — Who Have Committed No Crimes — in Juvie. "Shenandoah is one of three juvenile detention centers in the United States where the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) sends unaccompanied minors who are believed to require higher security. Last month, Virginia's governor ordered an investigation of Shenandoah after children claimed guards had broken their bones and strapped them to chairs with bags over their heads. Immigrant kids detained there say they have been beaten while handcuffed and isolated for long periods in solitary confinement. 'They treat us like criminals,' Alonzo explained in a recent court filing."

Treated like cargo. Treated like criminals. Treated like animals. These are descriptions of people who are being routinely dehumanized by the United States government.

6. Jamiles Lartey at the Guardian: Officials Admit They May Have Separated Family — Who Might Be U.S. Citizens — for up to a Year. "The Department of Justice told a federal judge Tuesday that it may have mistakenly separated a father and toddler who could both be U.S. citizens for as long as a year, in the process of enforcing the Trump administration zero-tolerance immigration policy. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called the revelation 'horrific' and blamed the administration's poor execution of the practice of family separations. 'The fact that a citizen got caught up in this mess shows just how poor the government's record-keeping was, and this is just the latest example,' said Lee Gelernt, the deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project."

I mean, it wasn't a white family of possible U.S. citizens who were separated and detained by accident. That said, this wanton hostility toward the concept of citizenship, unless it is held by the "right" people, means that whiteness won't protect anyone who gets on the wrong side of the Trump Regime, either. At some point. Sooner than we probably expect.

7. Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: HHS Secretary Says Separating Immigrant Families Is 'One of the Great Acts of American Generosity'.
The same day the federal government missed a court-imposed deadline to reunite roughly 84 children under the age of 5 with their families — after being forcibly separated from them at the U.S.-Mexico border — Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar appeared on CNN to defend how his agency has handled the recent immigration crisis.

"We have nothing to hide about how we operate these facilities," Azar told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Tuesday night, referring to the juvenile and "tender age" facilities in which many of the separated children are currently being detained, which HHS officials have barred media outlets and public figures from filming or visiting unannounced.

Speaking to the conditions in which the children are being held, he added, "It is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity, what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids."
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu, man.

Not only is Azar saying something breathtakingly indecent here; he's also sneakily misrepresenting who these kids are. They are not "unaccompanied" minors, which refers to children who reach the U.S. border on their own, but children whom the Trump regime has forcibly separated from their parents.

Liars. Vile, despicable liars, all of them.

Make noise. Make your calls. Make a plan. Please support immigrant families, in whatever way you can.

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