Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there parents once they cross the Border into the U.S. Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018
Last week, news broke that the US government had lost 1500 children of immigrants. It may have been some consolation to say that the children had slipped between the cracks in the system. However, it becomes blindingly and worryingly clear that the system was designed to erase certain lives.
As of May, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Settlement has been made responsible for children accompanying parents who cross into the United States illegally. HHS releases these children to sponsors and, as has now been revealed, does not keep track of children who do not turn up to later proceedings. This is not simply negligence on part of HHS, it is a calculating move to benefit from other’s vulnerability.
As these revelations unfolded, everyone in positions of power has decided to deflect responsibility. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump shamelessly blamed the Democrats for the situation, and urged people on Twitter to put pressure on Democrats to end the “law” that separates children from their parents.
However, as ACLU pointed out, there is no law that stipulates that children have to be separated from their parents. The procedure has actually been put into effect quite recently. Previously, the family would face deportations together which, although taxing, did not wrench children as young as 18 months old from their parents. Now, the parents are put in jails while the children are sent over to HHS.
No law requires this — separating parents and children is your administration’s choice.— ACLU (@ACLU) May 26, 2018
Hundreds of kids as young as 18 months are in danger of suffering lifelong trauma.
We won’t let you shift the blame or use families as bargaining chips for your wall. #EndFamilySeparation https://t.co/ixRFgPgCq6
Just like Trump, others have also elected to not take responsibility. Steve Wagner, acting assistant secretary with the Administration for Children and Families of HHS, insisted that HHS does not hold itself “legally responsible” for these children. Similarly, last month, John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, had shown criminal indifference towards the fate of these children. He said that the children will be placed under foster care or “whatever” and that it was their fault for coming in illegally in the first place.
On their part, Democrats have been quick to criticize but slow to act. Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) reminded FLOTUS Melania Trump that the policy of separating children from parents was not in her line of “Be Best” campaign aimed at protecting children.
Dear @FLOTUS: Separating toddlers from parents is definitely not a #BeBest policy. Are you going to do anything about it?— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 26, 2018
No one can take your #BeBest children's agenda seriously when your husband's policy rips kids from their parents and loses track of the children. https://t.co/IQTSrvTVP4
However, there has obviously been a lack of fierce protest from Democrats against Trump’s policy on immigrants. Many have accused Democrats of being hypocrites over this issue. Former President Barack Obama, portrayed as a friend of immigrants, also tore millions of families apart by deporting more people than any president since 1982, i.e. more than 1.2 million people during his first term.
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