It’s worse than kids in cages. Their treatment after being separated from their families — scared, alone, dirty and hungry — is akin to torture.
About a year ago the Trump administration suffered major backlash for their decision to separate families at the border. One might remember the outrage that normal people with empathy felt at learning that not only did the inhumane separation policy cause anxiety, illness and even deaths among children, but that government agencies had LOST over 1,500 kids. The Department of Health and Human Services had no database or administrative process set up to make sure that these kids would one day be reunited with the parents with whom they entered the country. There were protests and lawsuits, and when the Trump team reversed course and started bringing these families back together, most of them anyway, the hooplah died down and us Americans moved on with our privileged lives, often scoffing about the subsequent travesties our government found themselves in, but for the most part, just complaining without solution.
Now, we hear of something far worse. Children in terrible need of a shower. No toothpaste or soap available. Adolescents taking care of smaller children because there is no one else within the facility designated to care for these infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Inadequate food supplies. Children finding it hard to sleep because they are so hungry. Soiled diapers. A stench. A lice breakout, one in which guards forced children to share lice combs.
In Clint, TX, a band of lawyers discovered these conditions at a facility that was never meant to house children. The capacity was capped at 104. There were over 350 children there. Officials stated that they had expanded the facility to meet this demand — what they meant was putting the kids in a metal warehouse with no windows.
The Trump administration has chosen to criminalize asylum seekers — that is why family separation is still occurring. There is no indication that steps have been taken to keep track of what child belongs with which adult.
America’s moral conscience is in question. Many of Trump’s supporters are okay with what is happening, claiming, “Illegals!” “They’re taking our jobs!” “They don’t speak English!” But, I implore you, YOU – the one who is reading this right now — to use your heart. Here’s how you can help:
From the Times: “Several nonprofits are providing free legal representation and other services for immigrants and the families of those detained. United We Dream, the American Civil Liberties Union, Mijente and Immigrant Justice Corps are coordinating advocacy and services at a national level. Local organizations providing legal aid include New Sanctuary Coalition in New York, Las Americas in El Paso and Raices in Texas, Americans for Immigrant Justice in Florida and Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund in Colorado.”