First, the TL;DR:
A new 2018 policy has resulted in a huge increase in the number of children forcibly separated from their parents by the US immigration police, and imprisoned in makeshift facilities. Thousands of children have been imprisoned without their parents already, with more to come. This is child abuse at scale.
This is genuinely new; the US did not separate families at this rate under Obama, or Bush, or Clinton.
This is just a new policy, not a law. The law has not changed, and does not require the government to do this.
The change was entirely implemented by the Trump administration, at the executive level. Trump and his appointees could immediately revert the policy and stop doing this, if they wanted to. No new law is required for them to stop doing this. However, a new law would be required to force them to stop doing this.
This should be stopped because it is immoral. Separating young children from their parents is extremely traumatic and does the children grievous harm. It also harms the USA to perpetrate atrocities against children.
This probably can be stopped, because a large enough number of Americans don’t want to be this kind of country. While the results of this new policy have been applauded by a subset of Trump’s base, they have broadly inspired outrage and condemnation in a huge swath of Americans, from all across the political spectrum. But it won’t stop itself — we, “the people”, need to act to stop it.
Please do your part.
America, we have a problem.
Friends, and especially fellow citizens:
The Trump presidency, ludicrous and farcical as it’s been so far, has taken a truly despicable new turn. I think this is a watershed moment for the country.
If you are informed about US current affairs, you already know about this. But, as always in this era, there’s a diarrhetic torrent of bullshit, misinformation, and lies clouding the core issue at hand — even though the facts of it are not really that complicated.
Since I personally have spent some hours looking into this, separating fact from fiction and truth from lie, I decided to create this summary, which I vouch for. You can trust this to the extent that you trust me.
What, specifically, is the problem?
The USA has recently begun forcibly separating children from their parents, at a scale unprecedented in modern times. Since April, 2018, the rate of family separation has jumped approximately 1,300% and we have imprisoned 2000+ children in detention facilities over the past several weeks.
This is bad because it is extremely traumatic for the children, as anybody with children knows. It’s a drastic and inhumane act, wildly disproportionate to any threat it ameliorates, or any benefit it conveys.
It’s also bad because it further degrades the character of the nation. A country that commits atrocities against children, without any reasonable justification, is rightfully loathed by others, but also ultimately becomes unable to respect itself.
Why should this practice be stopped?
Also because a nation that routinely separates children from their parents and imprisons them in makeshift converted Walmart stores is a fucking shitty nation.
Isn’t this something that the US has always done? That’s what my Trumper uncle said…
No, this is truly new, and it began this year.
Stripping children from their parents has always occurred under some circumstances, but this is just the kernel of truth that is being used to use to build a bigger lie.
This change was brought about by a new policy; there is no new law or bill involved. The Trump administration’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced this new policy on April 6, 2018, and clarified in a public statement on May 7 that the new policy meant, “If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law.”
Certainly, in generations past, we have done this. America obviously did it to slaves, and to Native Americans also.
But that’s an absurd yardstick. We didn’t do this under Obama, or Bush, or Clinton, or Bush the wiser, or Reagan, or Carter. We didn’t make a policy of separating children from their parents at the border in the America I was born into in 1974, or since then. Until now.
The reason that this new policy results in drastically more children being seized, and imprisoned separately from their parents, is because it requires the immigration police to refer “all” suspected illegal immigrants for prosecution.
Most people caught crossing the US-Mexican border illegally are — and for at least the past several decades have been — detained and deported. But this has not generally been the case for families traveling with children. Families may be detained together (although not indefinitely, per federal court decisions). This is one of several mechanisms that protect children, and it also has to some extent protected the government as well. Taking responsibility for children is not a trivial task, is a huge responsibility, and there are more legal requirements and limitations specific to children that put a higher burden on the justice system.
In other words, the previous policies (of the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations) were nuanced, but tended to avoid separating children from their parents. The Trump administration’s new policy, adopted recently in 2018, maximizes this separation.
Who is doing this? Donald Trump.
This policy change came about at the direct behest of Donald Trump. We know that from his own words, and those of his appointees.
“Trump Administration Threatens Jail and Separating Children From Parents for Those Who Illegally Cross Southwest Border” read the headline, after the Attorney General’s public statement on May 7. The headline was accurate, because he said exactly that.
We also have reasonably reliable information that Trump blew up at the head of his Department of Homeland Security in front of many people because, among other things, she “and other officials in the department were resisting his direction that parents be separated from their children when families cross illegally into the United States”.
And, of course, we have his own words:
So just yesterday, he admits before the entire world that he’s using these kids as hostages to secure funding for his fucktard border wall that nobody wants, other than a few paint-huffers in MAGA hats.
But the earth spun on its axis one more time, and as news — and worse for Trump, photos — of this reprehensible policy spread, an increasing number of people became outraged. It is extremely hard for a normal human being not to have sympathy for small, sobbing, uncomprehending children being separated from their mothers and interned in camps.
Cowards who bully the weak often try to deflect blame, when a crowd sympathetic to the victim forms. Trump is now trying to do that. He first tried to claim that this was just the existing law of the land — his hands were tied. More preposterously, he next tried to falsely redirect the blame onto his political enemies:
That’s complete bullshit, of course.
Trump and his surrogates started to try to deflect the blame for this reprehensible policy, as it became increasingly obvious that is reviled by decent people across the political spectrum.
Don’t be fooled; that’s utter bullshit. Responsibility for this lies solely with Trump, his toadies, and ghoulish Trump-whisperer / king-of-the-incels Stephen Miller.
Even Trump’s patrons at FOX News can’t quite go so far as to support his latest claim. Instead, they phrase it as Jeff Sessions doing it, with a little Jesus tacked on for good measure: Sessions cites Bible to defend separating immigrant families
At Breitbart, they’re more like, Hey, stop complaining, it’s a nice internment camp, not even literally cages! Look! PHOTOS: Inside Shelter for Illegal Alien Children Separated from Parents
In fact, no Democrat supports this.
As for the craven cowards and repulsive toadies that comprise today’s whipped, belly-up, hollowed-out version of the Republican Party, they also don’t support this.
Well, at least that’s what they say. Judge them by what they do and it becomes a more sordid picture. Because they do nothing, other than issue mealy-mouthed and vague statements about how they don’t like it that Uncle Sam is abusing kids.
We know that because there’s a bill that would put a stop to this: S.3036 – Keep Families Together Act. It’s a short bill. You can read the text yourself in under 5 minutes. It’s what the title implies.
48 out of 49 Democrat (or “‘independent’ but Democrat-adjacent”) senators have supported this bill. Zero Republican senators have, as of this writing (now 2018-06-19 01:03 JST), despite their various cowardly and vague disavowals.
But yesterday’s Republicans aren’t quite so circumspect. Laura Bush, W’s wife, wrote a spectacularly unusual editorial condemning this shitshow. It’s worth reading. It’s unusual because the Bush family generally, and Laura specifically, have been extremely reluctant to wade into politics since 2008.
But we’re all doing weird shit in response to this national moment of crisis. I’ve dusted off the ol' Blog-O-Tron here for almost the first time since I had kids. I mean, since I had the first kid!
Meanwhile, liberal firebrand Markos Moulitsas and conservative usually-wrong-guy Bill Kristol are practically making out on Twitter:
LOL. That last is in reference to this:
She’s Trump’s chief of Homes (I’m told that will soon be what the kids call the Dept. of Homeland Security). That’s like the shittiest possible lie. I didn’t bother to look into whatever specific sleight-of-language she’s using, but it’s something like, “We catch them at the border, but then we handcuff them and take the kids' shoelaces, then we transport them to an ICE facility ten miles inland, and THAT is where we do the separation, so HAW haw, you’re wrong!”
(And it didn’t go over well; 43,000 comments, roughly 137 of which didn’t call her a Nazi.)
OK, OK, I agree that America should stop abusing children, what can we do?
Vote, sure. But that’s the slow road. These kids are in the camps now.
So what can we do?
Know facts about what’s happening. Hopefully the wall of text above helped if you hadn’t had time to know them before.
Help others know facts about it. This isn’t some technical issue like encryption or global warming. Even a moron can understand this situation, and only a sociopath isn’t freaked out by it once they know.
Advocate. Speak up at work/school/church/bar/whatever. Call your representatives. If you live in California, where I’m from, voting and calling won’t really do anything because Trump is less popular than explosive diarrhea, and we’re all on that page already. No problem: talk to your aunt in Pennsylvania or your cousin in Montana, give them a summary of the facts above, and offer to call their representatives for them, as them. It’s not even fraud, it’s just delegation.
And then, yes, by all means, vote.