Trump keeps children, parents separated


This 18 June 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Separated migrant families held in cages at Texas border

Footage shows migrant families being held in large cages as Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy takes effect. The US president has received heavy criticism after it was revealed that children were being separated from their families at the southern border.

By Trévon Austin in the USA:

US continues to terrorize immigrants: Over 500 children still not reunited with parents

22 August 2018

Over 500 immigrant children who were separated from their parents by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, have yet to be reunited despite court orders.

In June, US District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the Trump administration to reunite parents by July 26 with the more than 2,500 children, aged up to 17, that had been taken from them at the border. Under massive public pressure demanding an accounting of the separated children, the US government released figures last Thursday that show many families have still not been reunited, two months after Sabraw’s court order.

Out of 2,654 children initially in government custody, 2,089 have been “discharged,” meaning the children have been reunited with their parents or placed with sponsors within the United States. The exact proportion who have been returned to their parents from whom they were taken, not a guardian, remains unclear. The remaining 565 children are still being detained by the government. Of those, 24 children are under the age of 5. Parents of 366 of the still-separated children have been deported and are no longer in the US. Six children under the age of 5 have parents who have been deported.

The Trump administration has offered a slew of excuses as to why families have still not been reunited. Government officials have claimed many parents either cannot be located or face criminal charges.

The vast majority of crimes parents have been accused of are dubious nonviolent offenses, such as traffic violations or minor drug cases. The claim that one parent in US custody is wanted for murder in Guatemala remains unsubstantiated. The repeated accusations that these immigrants are “criminals” are completely bogus. They are being used to whip up anti-immigrant sentiment and scapegoat this section of the population for the dire state of social conditions.

This attempt to demonize immigrants has very little traction among the population. Judge Sabraw, who ruled in the case about reuniting children with parents, made it clear that the alleged “crimes” of parents do not justify tearing children away from their families. Earlier this month, Sabraw expressed his opposition to the government’s actions.

“For every parent who is not located, there will be a permanently orphaned child”, Sabraw said in his San Diego courtroom. “That is 100 percent the responsibility of the administration.”

In many cases, parents were reportedly tricked or coerced into being deported while their children remained in the United States.

David Xol, a deported Guatemalan immigrant, told the Texas Tribune that immigration officials told him to sign his own deportation papers because he would be sent back to Guatemala without his son regardless if he signed them or not. Months later, Xol’s seven-year-old son Bryon remains 1,000 miles away from his family in a shelter in Baytown, Texas.

Despite the immense public outrage and the recent court ruling, ICE officials have continued the ruthless policy of separating children from their parents as a means of punishment and coercion.

Last week, ICE agents forcibly removed more than a dozen fathers from Karnes County detention center in Texas, where they were being held with their sons after being reunited. Attorneys representing the 16 fathers said the families were then re-separated in retaliation for a planned nonviolent protest by those detained against their treatment by the government.

In a statement provided to The Daily Beast, ICE spokesperson Nina Pruneda said that roughly 40 men at the Karnes detention facility “were involved in a disturbance”, and that it had deployed law enforcement “to control the situation.”

The Karnes County detention center houses about 630 men and their sons who were separated under Trump’s zero tolerance policy. Last Wednesday, armed officers stormed the rooms where the fathers were being held, handcuffed them, and sent them to another detention center 90 minutes away. Meanwhile, the men’s children were placed in two separate rooms, with no information about where their fathers had been sent or whether they would see them again. All of the men who were re-separated are currently pursuing legal resident status in the US, including many who have sought asylum status.

The fathers were reunited with their sons the next day, but the separation exacted a large psychological toll. A man was reported to have vomited blood after being taken to the separate detention center, and one man attempted to hang himself with a bedsheet.

The level of barbarity employed against detained immigrants is equaled in the methods of apprehension. ICE raids continue daily throughout the US, terrorizing immigrant communities and imposing irreversible emotional and psychological damage to those caught up in the dragnet. In San Bernardino, California, ICE agents arrested a man driving his pregnant wife to the hospital for a scheduled C-section last week.

While on the way to the hospital, the couple stopped at a gas station where surveillance footage shows ICE officers who had been following them in two black SUVs approached and asked for identification. Maria del Carmen Venegas, 32, showed the officers her driver’s license, but her husband, Joel Arrona-Lara, 36, told the officers he did not have his papers because he had left the house in a hurry.

According to Venegas, her husband asked officers if he could return home to retrieve documentation, just down the street. The officers refused his request, then handcuffed Arrona-Lara, leaving Venegas sobbing in distress alone at the gas station. She was then forced to drive herself to the hospital and give birth to their son alone.

In a statement on Saturday, an ICE spokeswoman defended the arrest, saying that Arrona-Lara “was brought to ICE’s attention due to an outstanding warrant issued for his arrest in Mexico on homicide charges.” However, the agency’s official statement on his arrest only stated he was arrested for “illegally residing in the United States.”

Furthermore, Aronna-Lara’s lawyers say they can find no record in Mexico of a warrant for his arrest and that he may have been mistaken for his brother, who has served jail time in Mexico.

Arrona-Lara is currently being held in a detention center in Orange County awaiting deportation. The couple has lived in the United States for more than 10 years and have five children, including their newborn baby.

The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has caused thousands of families immeasurable psychological and emotional trauma. Families continue to be separated at the border, while ICE, an organization reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s Gestapo, terrorizes families in the US.

The scenes reported almost daily of the brutality being meted out against the immigrant population have provoked widespread revulsion from people in the US and around the world.

500 CHILDREN STILL SEPARATED The Trump administration has still not reunited more than 500 migrant children with their parents after separating families at the border in recent months. [HuffPost]

WHITE HOUSE: DETAIN MORE CHILDREN FOR LONGER The Trump administration plans to withdraw from a court settlement that protects migrant children from being kept in detention centers under inhumane conditions and for more than 20 days. If successful, more children will be kept in prison-like facilities for the duration of their immigration proceedings, which can last up to a year. [HuffPost]

‘THOUSANDS’ MORE CHILDREN SEPARATED AT BORDER The Trump administration may have taken “thousands” more immigrant children from parents and guardians at the border than was previously known, and does not know how many families were separated in total, according to a report by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. [HuffPost]

Over 200 immigrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington began a hunger strike and work stoppage on Tuesday in response to the call for a 19-day national prison strike, spearheaded by the organization Jailhouse Lawyer Speak. The strike has participation from prisoners in at least 17 states who are expected to conduct coordinated sit-ins, hunger strikes, work stoppages and commissary boycotts from today until September 9: here.

The assault on immigrants becomes the assault on citizens. US citizens along southern border denied passports, accused of fraudulent birth certificates: here.

An immigrant mother from Guatemala who was detained crossing the US-Mexico border in Texas with her 19-month-old daughter alleges that substandard medical care at the immigrant jail they were held in killed her child, who died six weeks after the two were released from detention. According to her lawyers at the firm Arnold & Porter, Yazmin Juarez, 20, and her infant daughter Mariee, were detained at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) family detention center in Dilley, Texas run by the private prison company, CoreCivic: here.

TRUMP IMMIGRATION OFFICIAL LIES ABOUT FAMILY SEPARATIONS At his confirmation hearing Thursday, Ronald Vitiello, the Trump administration’s nominee to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, downplayed government failures in the process that separated more than 2,000 children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. “It wasn’t a family separation policy,” Vitiello told the Senate committee. It absolutely was. [HuffPost]

Earlier this month, US District Court Judge Clay Land denied a motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit that Wilhen Hill Barrientos, Margarito Velazquez Galicia, and Shoaib Ahmed filed back in April against CoreCivic. The Tennessee-based private prison company operates the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia — one of the largest immigrant detention centers in the nation with a capacity of about 2,000: here.

TRUMP USED FEMA CASH FOR IMMIGRANT DETENTION The Trump administration transferred nearly $10 million from FEMA earlier this year to fund immigrant detention and deportation efforts, according to a document released by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore). [HuffPost]

On Wednesday night, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration has been covertly conducting a campaign to round up and detain thousands of immigrant youth traveling to the US without their parents or guardians: here.

Notes on Trump’s war against immigrants. Department of Health and Human Services lost track of another 1,500 immigrant children: here.

According to a report in the Washington Post Friday, the Trump administration is considering reinstating a version of the “zero tolerance” family separation program it implemented in May as part of its ongoing war against immigrants. In the most widely discussed proposal, parents who cross the border will be detained with their children for 20 days, at which point they will be forced to chose between being deported together or being detained separately: here.

A new report by Amnesty International (AI) calculates that more than 6,000 people (including at least 3,000 children) were separated from relatives at the border within a four month period from the initial implementation of zero tolerance policy in April 2018: here.

TRUMP OFFICIALS SHRUG OVER FAMILY SEPARATIONS Officials from the Trump administration refused to admit they were unprepared to reunite families separated during the government’s zero tolerance immigration policy, despite accusations from immigration experts and an inspector general report stating the government had no comprehensive system in place. [HuffPost]

NIELSEN GRILLED ON FAMILY SEPARATION Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen came under fire at a House hearing on immigration when she claimed her department hadn’t put migrant kids separated from their families in cages. “I’ve seen the cages,” one Democratic lawmaker responded. [HuffPost]

Friday, March 08, 2019, by Common Dreams. Trump to Divert Up to $385 Million From Crucial Health Programs To Pay for ‘Government-Sanctioned Child Abuse’. Added to what was taken last year, say critics, that’s “almost $1 billion in HHS funds diverted from real public health emergencies to sink into manufactured ones”: here.

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32 thoughts on “Trump keeps children, parents separated

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  4. Trump’s policy to separate and imprison immigrants just claimed an 18-month-old’s life.

    Mariee Juárez died in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia of viral pneumonitis shortly after being released from a Texas detention center. A pediatrician who reviewed her medical records revealed that Mariee was refused adequate medical care while in detention. Her mother, Yazmin, is suing the detention center’s operator, CoreCivic–the massive for-profit prison company plagued with years of allegations of severe abuse.1

    CoreCivic is financed by Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. So is The GEO Group, the other for-profit prison company that jails immigrants and asylum-seekers for the Trump administration.2 Since Trump announced his policy of separating and jailing families, both Wells Fargo and JPMorgan have been under increasing pressure to stop financing the abuse of immigrants and their children.3

    In a few weeks, UltraViolet is joining dozens of progressive organizations to confront Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase executives at their headquarters in San Francisco and New York City. Along with hundreds of thousands of signatures, we could force them to stop profiting from the jailing and abuse of immigrants and their children. Will you sign the petition demanding Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase stop financing CoreCivic and GEO Group?

    Tell the CEOs of Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase: “You are profiting from the death of 18-month-old Mariee Juárez and the separation and imprisonment of immigrants. Stop financing CoreCivic and GEO Group.”
    Sign the petition

    Eighteen-month-old Mariee’s unjust death due to medical negligence in the hands of CoreCivic is far from an isolated accident, and Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase executives know this.

    CoreCivic has been accused of or taken to court for everything from sexual assault by guards, forced labor, and medical negligence. In 2007, a CoreCivic guard sexually assaulted an immigrant woman while her son slept in his crib inside the cell, while in 2010, another guard was charged with sexually assaulting at least eight immigrant women he was in charge of transporting.4 In 2016, the federal government forced CoreCivic to shut down one of its facilities in Cibola, New Mexico for causing several deaths due to substandard medical care,5 and last year, a CoreCivic guard quit her position and testified to witnessing two inmates die of medical neglect.6 This year, the company is being sued for deliberately depriving detainees of food and basic necessities, forcing them to work for those items.7

    These are only a handful of the countless criminal allegations against CoreCivic in the past decade. Together with GEO Group, they run 72 percent of private immigrant detention beds.8

    The GEO Group is equally plagued, if not more, by allegations of extreme abuse and negligence. It is the for-profit prison company that runs the all-women and children Karnes immigration detention center in Texas, where guards have been accused of taking women from their cells at night to assault them, and where children’s chronic medical conditions aren’t properly seen to.9 GEO Group has a long rap sheet of lawsuits for gross mismanagement that has led to several wrongful deaths and rape of detainees.10

    In fact, a series of investigations by the federal government revealed that physical, sexual, and medical care abuses in these companies’ prisons were so extreme, the Justice Department under the Obama administration made a monumental announcement that it will stop the use of private prisons.11

    Then, unsurprisingly, the Trump administration reversed that policy. Trump’s campaign and inauguration ceremony received $250,000 from CoreCivic and $475,000 from GEO Group.12 The day after Trump was elected, CoreCivic’s and GEO Group’s shares jumped 21 percent and 43 percent, respectively.13 In other words, Trump’s racist policy of terrorizing, imprisoning, then deporting vulnerable immigrants is a deliberate money-making scheme for for-profit prison companies.

    Now, the companies are cashing in on Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. So are Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, which extended $900 million worth of credit to CoreCivic and GEO Group along with some other big banks.14

    Mariee Juárez’s death is only the latest atrocity that has come out of Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy to funnel immigrant and asylum-seeking families into CoreCivic’s and GEO Group’s prisons. If we band together to cut their ties to their biggest financiers, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan, it would deal a massive blow to for-profit prison companies’ power over anti-immigrant policy.

    Will you sign the petition demanding Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase stop financing and profiting from the imprisonment and abuse of immigrants and their children?

    Thanks for speaking out!

    — Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Holly, Kathy, Susan, Anathea, Audine, Shannon, Emma, Pilar, Natalie, Melody, Pam, Lindsay, and Ryan, the UltraViolet team

    P.S. UltraViolet is competing for a grant to fund our work to expand women’s rights. Will you help UltraViolet win by voting for us?

    Sources:

    1. Mother of Young Toddler Who Died After Release from ICE Detention Is Preparing a Wrongful Death Claim, Jezebel, August 29, 2018

    2. Meet the Six Big Banks Keeping Private Prisons in Business, TakePart, November 17, 2016

    3. Immigrant advocates attack banks for financing private prisons, CNN, July 26, 2018

    4. Texas Detention Center Faces Allegations of Widespread Sexual Abuse—Again (Updated), Rewire, November 22, 2017

    5. The Feds Will Shut Down the Troubled Private Prison in a ‘Nation’ Investigation, The Nation, August 15, 2016

    6. CoreCivic investigating ex-officer’s allegations of negligent deaths at private prison, Tennessean, December 12, 2017

    7. Lawsuit alleges ‘forced labor’ in immigrant detention, CNN, April 17, 2018

    8. Trump’s link to private prisons proves why Citizens United must go, The Hill, April 17, 2017

    9. Women allege sexual abuse at Texas immigrant detention center, CNN, October 4, 2016

    10. Violence, Abuse, and Death at For-Profit Prisons: A GEO Group Rap Sheet, PR Watch, September 26, 2013

    11. Private Prisons Back In Mix For Federal Inmates As Sessions Rescinds Order, NPR, February 23, 2017

    12. Private prisons back Trump and could see big payoffs with new policies, USA Today, February 23, 2017

    13. Trump’s Win Gives Stocks in Private Prison Companies a Reprieve, New York Times, December 3, 2016

    14. Who is Profiting from Incarcerating Immigrant Families?, Eyes on the Ties, June 21, 2018

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  19. Last summer, the Trump administration separated at least 2,500 families at the border, ripping children from their parents and traumatizing thousands of families. And we still don’t know if they’ve all be reunited.

    Now, POLITICO has broken the story that thousands more families were separated than we originally thought. Thousands. And because these families were separated before the court-ordered reunification, we have no idea what happened to them.

    This administration has stolen children from their parents, locked them in cages, and traumatized them for life. Let’s not forget, they even “lost track of a few” children. Land of the free? Try hypocrisy.

    This practice of family separation is abominable and will forever be a stain on the soul of this country. We must never let our leaders stoop so low again. We must never allow such xenophobic policies to penetrate our government. We must never turn away in the face of injustice.

    That’s why we’re asking you to stand with us and donate $5 right now. We’re going to fight this with everything we’ve got, and you can bet we’ll never let this administration get away with something so heartless ever again.
    donate

    We are better than this.

    In solidarity,

    Mayra Macías
    Political Director, Latino Victory

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