America’s Soul On the Line as Trump Moves to Set Up 4 Prison Camps for Babies and Toddlers

by on June 20, 2018 · 14 comments

in San Diego

UPDATE: Under pressure from the entire country, Trump signed an executive order today, Wednesday, that is meant to keep families together at the border, halting a policy he instituted earlier this year.

NBC reports.

13 Governors Pull Back their National Guard Units from Border in Protest of Trump Child Separation Policy

Rachel Maddow wept openly on TV as she struggled to read the last report of her nightly broadcast on MSNBC last night, June 19. It was an AP story about how the Trump administration was moving to set up a 4th prison camp for hundreds of babies and toddlers in south Texas, euphemistically called “Tender Age Centers”.

Maddow’s empathy matched that of most of the country, as America reeled under the horrifying images and audio recordings of small children wailing for their parents -torn from their arms in the most despicable policy yet from the Trump administration.

In polls, two-thirds of Americans opposed the policy. All living First Ladies have also come out against it.

And in a dramatic turn that demonstrates just how quickly this abominable policy of “zero tolerance” has turned the nation against Trump, by last count, 13 governors – both Democrats and Republicans – have rescinded orders to send their state National Guard units or any resources used by them to the border region, all in protest of this authoritarian policy.

San Diegans will have our chance to show our outrage this weekend, as there are at least 2 protests being planned for downtown – one on Friday afternoon and one on Saturday (see below). National protests are also being planned for the end of the month around the country.

Photos are screen captures from MSNBC.

So, yes, the soul of America is on the line right now – in one of the most darkest periods of American history.

On Tuesday, Trump doubled down on the policy – a policy he could immediately end with a phone call – and once again claimed that babies and children had to be taken away from parents being arrested at the border. He said immigrants want to “infest” this country. His Secretary for Homeland Security Department, Kristjen Nielsen – when asked by reporters during a press conference ‘where are the girls and babies?’ – she claimed she didn’t know. Calls for her resignation flowed out of Congress. (Nielsen was actually chased out of a Mexican restaurant in DC by protesters later in the evening.)

Rachel Maddow reported by her count, our government is taking 70 kids away from their parents every day. Up to 2600 kids have been placed in child internment cages or camps since April; 500 just in the last 2 weeks.

Not only that, but the government is keeping the locations of these centers secret and only allowed photos and videos approved by the government to be released to news reporters. No photos or videos or girls or babies have been released.

On top of all this, it has become apparent that there is NO plan or procedure to re-unite kids and parents. Some parents have been deported back to their countries but without their children, and parents are being forced to locate their kids themselves.

Children in cages and prison camps are now the reality. With this, Americans of every strip need to stand up to this dictator-like procedure of securing the border by ripping kids away. And it is happening. Clergy, politicians, civic groups have come out against it. Even evangelicals are opposed, one of the key elements of Trump’s base. On Tuesday, there were protests in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, DC, and in El Paso.

As mentioned, more than a dozen governors have weighed in by ordering their National Guard not to participate – moves that will not have much effect at the border, but at least these governors want to go on the official public record opposed to Trump’s policy. For example, the Republican governor of Massachusetts cancelled his state’s deployment of Guard units. The Democratic governor of Colorado followed suit by issuing an executive order that no state resources be used in furtherance of this policy.

The states’ pushback included the governor of New Jersey doing the same. The governors of Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina did similar moves yesterday.

Meanwhile, bills in Congress surfaced to bring a halt to a policy that is reflected in history by tyrants, and a couple may be voted upon by Thursday this week. A dozen GOP senators, led by Orrin Hatch, wrote Trump a letter expressing their desire to end the policy until Congress acts. Three moms did a sit-in in their Ohio Senator Portman’s office in protest – they were all arrested. And as Trump walked down the halls of Congress, he was heckled by members of Congress – an unprecedented event in the Capitol (including Rep. Juan Vargas – who is now sporting a beard).

IT is also universally understood that Trump created this crisis, with Sessions’ announcement in April about the new policy; he’s hoping this will energize his (shrinking) base looking at the mid-terms. White House advisors, like Steve Miller – a rightwing nationalist and key aide – is reportedly happily reveling in the mess, having stirred up the liberals.

Child psychologists have weighed in, speaking about the trauma that the children are suffering, with some calling it “government-sponsored child abuse”.  There is likely long-term damage from these traumatic separations.

So many questions remain: who is handling the babies and toddlers, feeding them, changing their diapers, cuddling them?

America has imprisoned babies and small children – placed them in cages where the lights are constantly on, sleeping on thin mats on concrete, and without their parents.

This must stop – not by November, not by next month – but right now; it will take Americans with conscience to do it.

Here in San Diego:

Friday, June 22 – Keep Families Together Nurse-In, 3-4:30pm, Edward J Schwartz Federal Courthouse. We condemn the brutal separation of a mother from her 4-month-old infant as she nursed. We stand in solidarity with migrant parents who have risked everything to flee violence and give their children the hope of a brighter future.

Saturday, June 23 – Families Belong Together March San Diego, 10am, Civic Center (200 C Street, Downtown) Families Belong Together opposes the cruel, inhumane and unjustified separation of children from their parents along the U.S. border with Mexico and at other ports of entry into the U.S. We protest the conditions in which these children are kept. We protest the irreversible trauma that has already been perpetrated on these children and their parents for the crime of seeking a better life.

Saturday, June 23,  10am Families Belong Together Rally North County at Westfield North County Mall, 272 E Via Rancho Parkway, Escondido 92025 (intersection Westfield Way).

National Action:  June 30. A nationwide response in Washington DC and other cities. Here’s San Diego details – with more coming soon.

See ya there.

(Hat tip to Anna Daniels for her info)

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle Gormlie June 20, 2018 at 10:32 am

Corey Lewandowski and Nielsen glibly defending this policy is the true banality of evil. It’s sickening. If after seeing and hearing the images and audio of these children, your first question is their legal status– you are morally bankrupt and a progressive society has no use for you. I’ve struggled with coming to terms in relating to those I know who continue to support Trump and this might be the point of no return. If you can still support the White House after this, we don’t have a difference of opinion. No, we have a difference in humanity.
As I type this I can hear my two year old dance and sing in the next room. My heart is utterly breaking for the parents and children stolen from one another by this country.
See you Saturday

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie June 20, 2018 at 10:50 am

Word

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Editor editordude June 20, 2018 at 10:54 am

President Donald Trump, under pressure from angry members of his own party, said Wednesday that he would be “signing something in a little while” that would keep families together at the border, halting a policy he instituted earlier this year. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/trump-says-he-ll-sign-order-stopping-separation-families-border-n885061

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie June 20, 2018 at 10:57 am

See this: ICE Came for a Tennessee Town’s Immigrants. The Town Fought Back. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/11/us/tennessee-immigration-trump.html

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obcliffhanger June 20, 2018 at 5:33 pm

Public outcry forced the Great Orange Prevaricator to sign an Executive Order (I thought those were bad) to stop the separation of families. Allegedly. Details remain to be clarified and there’s been ZERO plans put forth to reunite families whose kids are as far away as New York and Michigan.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Donations
Michael Avenatti (yes, that one) has set up a fund to collect donations to post bond for parents being held in the detention centers and to provide resources so they can then try to find their kids. We’re always suspicious of these sites, but we went ahead and donated anyway: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-separating-families/. They’ve raised $63,000 in their first day and you can imagine it’s going to take a lot more. It sounds like Avenatti is taking it on himself – hopefully working with the ACLU – to provide what will need to be a sustained effort.

ACLU – Petition
Not sure the extent to which these have any impact with this administration, but as a bare minimum action item, here is a link to the ACLU petition: https://action.aclu.org/petition/separating-families

SAVE THE DATE: “Families Belong Together” March – June 30th
Launched yesterday, ACLU & MoveOn are sponsoring a nationwide march: https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/19967/signup/?source=families&s=
There’s some confusion – march may be the week before on the 23rd. I’ll get back with response (if anyone knows, please chime in)
https://actionnetwork.org/events/families-belong-together-san-diego

Social Media/Email Campaign
This is happening in San Diego – we are a border town and families are being separated right under our noses. Since we are District 2, send out a note:
Email addresses:
Jen Campbell (goes to her campaign manager): info@drjen2018.com
Lorie Zapf: loriezapf@sandiego.gov
Kevin Faulconer: kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov

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retired botanist June 20, 2018 at 5:38 pm

I listened to Lewandoski’s response to his ‘womp-womp’ comment and it was so alienating. What adult in this supposedly educated country would possibly think that a child would have any understanding of a law, that preceded and was not implemented during the Obama administration, that his or her parents would also likely (as ESLs) not fully understand? So a 4-yr old is supposed to understand that he’s in a cage and its his parent’s fault? And he had the gall to insinuate that the parents are politicizing their children? What world is this? :(

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Marc Snelling Marc Snelling June 21, 2018 at 8:31 am

David Letterman interviewing Jazy-Z said about Trump “if you’re having a debate over whether a guy’s a racist, chances are that guy’s a racist.”

In defending imprisoning children, Sessions said “We aren’t exactly like the Nazis; we’re just separating children from their parents indefinitely and holding them in detention camps.” If you’re having a debate over whether a policy is Nazi-like, chances are…

Nazi ideology did not exist in a vacuum. Dehumanizing eugenics and sterilization laws were exported from Virginia and California to Germany. In Southern California the Human Betterment Foundation directly influenced Hitler’s policies. Any group of people are capable of extreme dehumanization.

It is a very over-used comparison, but there are more connections between historical and present-day American thinking, and Nazi German thinking than many would care to admit. Although Mr Session did (unintentionally) admit it.

Forget this history and we will have painful lessons to relearn. America’s soul will grow even darker in the process.

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Samuel June 21, 2018 at 9:43 am

Simple solution, don’t bring children here illegally.

MSNBC is not a valid news source.

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Jon Carr June 21, 2018 at 11:09 am

So you support jailing children.

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Geoff Page June 21, 2018 at 11:54 am

Ok, so what is a valid news source?

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Marc Snelling Marc Snelling June 21, 2018 at 1:57 pm

Another simple solution… Don’t be evil.

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kh June 21, 2018 at 4:27 pm

The liberal border policy seems to be no borders at all.

If there is a greater number of illegal crossings or asylum seekers, then we need to commit the resources needed to process it. Until that happens I think it’s irresponsible to lock up non-violent offenders for this long.

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obcliffhanger June 22, 2018 at 12:46 pm

No. A “liberal” border policy is to welcome those seeking entry and not turn away those seeking asylum. Not “no border at all” That’s just inflammatory BS.

This administration has instituted a practice this year of turning away people who are LEGALLY seeking asylum from our own LEGAL border crossings. They arrive there knowing they would go through a LEGAL process to determine their status, as it has been for years. Now, however, tRump and Sessions are turning them all away from the legal crossings. Let that sink in. People seeking asylum from harm who come to America with hope are being turned back with no process at all and nowhere to go. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Except for Native Americans we’re all immigrants here (some even illegally, like FLOTUS).
As a result of being turned back without being processed, these people try to come across at illegal crossings and are picked up.
Judges at the border used handle cases where 90% were likely criminals and 10% non-criminals. That has been reversed this year by the administration’s policy of turning everyone away: 90% non-criminals now need to be processed. The judges now have no time to process the true criminals. Let that sink in. The “bad guys” the so-called president rails against can’t be processed.
Turnout was pathetic for the June primaries.
VOTE IN NOVEMBER if you want this idiocy to stop.

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Bearded OBcean June 22, 2018 at 10:49 am

It’s terribly heartbreaking and tyrannical of the small-fingered vulgarian in the White House to do this. Since we can all agree on that, what, then, are the solutions to the crisis?

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