Child Emergency: Souls in ICE

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Child Emergency: Souls in ICE

Judith Deutsch

Reeling from the US election, I hope that the first order of business is reuniting families and restoring children in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody to their parents. A society that can locate possible ice on the moon, whose drones can locate a teenager in Yemen for targeted assassination, can surely use DNA, and compassionate and persistent outreach to find thousands of parents?

These have been years of reeling about the treatment of children: Madeline Albright’s justifying the killing of half-million Iraqi children, Obama’s paying the Mexican government to keep refugee children from the US border at the exact time of the... Ayotzinapa disappeared children, residential schools for indigenous children, Israel’s hugely disproportionate killing and intentional maiming of Palestinian children. And now, a report finds more than 25,000 migrant children locked up for more than 100 days over past six years. The United States is sterilizing women who are in refugee detention centers, robbing them of being able to bear children.

From a 2018 report:

“…at least 250 migrant infants, children and teenagers have been locked up for nearly a month without adequate food, water or sanitation at a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, near the city of El Paso. Lawyers who visited the facility described a scene of chaos and sickness, with children unable to shower or change into clean clothes for weeks on end. The AP report came the same week that the Trump administration argued in federal court that the government is not required to provide toothbrushes, soap or beds to children detained at the border, and other reports found similarly squalid conditions at a number of immigration jails.”

A worker who found the treatment of children unbearable spoke about rules that prohibited distraught siblings from hugging each other for solace.

See and hear this video of young children crying for their mothers and fathers as they are separated by customs officials. Such hardness of heart is not hardwired in human nature. Think of the global response to the death of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi.

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