This week the news is full of crying, terrified children.
Cruelly separated from their parents at the border by the Trump administration, they are being confined in steel cages in 95 degree Texas weather at a former Walmart, under armed guard, unable to leave.
Meanwhile reporters on the ground have secretly recorded the heartbreaking scenes they witnessed, uploading them to the internet yesterday afternoon.
“I promise to be good, can I see my mommy,” a six year old girl is heard pleading. In another section of the tape a group of girls are heard crying as two guards mocks them, “Quite an orchestra we have here,” says one. “We just need a conductor,” jokes the other.
Seven minutes of audio from inside a detention center last week.
Ten Central American children separated from their parents. A distraught but determined six-year-old Salvadoran girl pleads repeatedly for someone to call her aunt.https://t.co/rVlBqBkM99 pic.twitter.com/iAWLhyiOzJ— ProPublica (@ProPublica) June 19, 2018
Reports show the Trump administration took an average of 46 migrant children a day from their parents last month. As of this month they're up to 67 children a day.
Yesterday in truly Orwellian fashion the Trump administration claimed that their policy of separating children from their parents does not exist.
But today they are claiming that if such a policy does exist, it's been mandated by law and by Congress and is actually the fault of the Democrats.
No one in this administration can keep their story straight on this issue or take the fall for it either, clearly.
Psychologists agree, when you make the decision to forcibly separate a child from their parents, their most important source of security, you are doing violence to them. In fact if it goes on for very long, studies assure us, then you are doing them lifelong and irreparable harm.
Predictably the Trumpian die-hards like Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson were first to the post to defend the indefensible last night. Laughably, Ingraham tried to claim the detention centers are “basically summer camp.” Will she be sending her children to them this summer to prove her point? Don't hold your breath.
Then Carlson went full white nationalist, claiming, bizarrely, that the undocumented immigrants “welcome” the “collapse” of the white “American family.” That he make statements like this on primetime on Fox News shows how far right the station has tilted.
Ann Coulter trotted out the conspiracy theory that the imprisoned children were all “child actors” using the language of Alex Jones and Infowars on Fox News. Jones famously called the Sandy Hook child massacre a “hoax” and claimed the children and bereaved parents were actually “actors,” which lead to death threats against the parents after they buried their own children.
The truth is far more prosaic' however. The Trump administration have decided to cruelly separate thousands of undocumented children from their parents and then baldly lie to the nation about who is responsible for it.
They have created this appalling separation policy themselves. That's why there is so much outrage, that's why it has made the news this week. They created it and they own it.
Today the lost children in those steel cages are from Mexico and South America. But we'd all do well to remember the Irish come here undocumented by the thousands each year themselves. Will we postpone our disgust until the terrified children in steel cages have names like Aisling, Dara and Liam?
President Trump is lying to us. On Monday he said that it was the Democrats who were behind the child prison scheme. Then later in the afternoon his spokespeople blamed former President George W. Bush for the child incarcerations. None of that is true.
HHS just blocked us from entering its facility in Homestead, Florida to check on the welfare of the children being held here. They are obviously hiding something, and we are going to get to the bottom of this. pic.twitter.com/q4m6Zd0ck2— Senator Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) June 19, 2018
The truth is Trump is playing to his shrinking base, to the voters who didn't see any tax cut themselves and who still think immigration is the biggest problem facing a nation of immigrants.
Whilst he's busy targeting the undocumented with his eliminationist rhetoric he hopes his voters won't notice that their taxes have spiked again as their health insurance has been stripped and their wages have fallen.
Trump tweeted today that immigrants “infest” the United States, using out-group language broadly similar to the anti-semitic rhetoric heard during the Nazi era about Jews.
After all what happens when you have an infestation? You call the exterminator. His most ardent white nationalist supporters must be hugging themselves with delight. This is the language of liquidation.
Trump wants his supporters shouting 'build the wall' so they won't notice their pockets are being picked and their democracy hijacked by his growing authoritarianism. They're falling for it, too.
So if we can no longer depend on Trump voters to understand that imprisoning children and separating them from their parents is a moral outrage, what other outrages will they be willing to countenance in the near future?
"Characterizing people as vermin has historically been a precursor to murder and genocide." https://t.co/p9setYAijA— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) June 19, 2018
This week we have finally begun to discern the profile of the coming crisis. It is ugly indeed. Expect the Trump administration to enact even more policies that are eerily reminiscent of the early stages of the Holocaust soon.
How you respond to these policies now will determine what kind of America you and your children will live in in the future.