With the passing of this nation’s independence, and obligatory celebrations flush with obscene amounts of grilled meats and fireworks or gunshots (one never knows to be honest), it is easy to forget the current assortment of issues this nation is facing. This year alone America has dodged a nuclear standoff with North Korea, triggered a trade war with some of the world’s largest economies and descended into general social devolution; but sure hot dogs.
At its root the idea of Americans celebrating independence with overtones of heroism and pride is at times nauseating, considering this nation’s history of oppression and frankly genocide. This isn’t the ramblings of some wayward social justice warrior seeking affirmation through the byways of social media but instead rather logically conclusions founded in history. America’s origins are steeped in the worst tendencies of humanity, and wrapping that truth in a big red, white and blue flag then dowsing it with fragrances of freedom and justice serves only to add insult to injury.
However this year that usual masquerade of patriotism is profoundly egregious, recently the American government has detained and moved over 3,000 migrant children separating them from their jailed parents. This process of separation is the brain child of the Trump Dept of Justice under the direction of AG Jeff Sessions. In an announcement in May Sessions rolled out the new DOJ policy stating:
“If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday at a law enforcement conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”
The framing of his statement is particularly interesting and at the heart of conservative messaging. Sessions used triggers such as “smuggling” and “required by law” in order to create an island of moral superiority in an ocean of apathy and misinformation. Sessions wants anyone who hears his statement to automatically believe that any migrant with a child is a criminal trafficker and not the more likely truth of a parent seeking the refuge and or opportunity the United States can offer. Sessions also weaponizes American law in a way that is misleading at best. The parents of migrant children are not smuggling children in the same context of a trafficker, misapplying the law in such a fashion is a recipe for disaster.
In fact that is exactly what the Trump administration created, currently as of mid July over 2,000 children are still separated from their parents. More than 2,000 children who came here with their parents and have been placed in centers as far away as New York State and Washington State.
Gaining access to these unaccompanied minors has also been a point of contention with federal representatives often being turned away by DOHS officials.
To make matters worst reports of abuse and negligence have trickled out of some facilities, facilities that are massive and often old Walmart and department stores. The Dept. Of Defense has also been enlisted to house migrants and displaced children.
Finally following an outpouring of outrage and sorrow at the end of June the Trump administration decided to end its policy of family separation, with Trump stating:
“I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” Trump told reporters, with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice-President Mike Pence standing by his side. “I think anybody with a heart would feel strongly about it. We don’t like to see families separated.”
Regardless of these words the Trump administration may not be able to reunited all the young migrants with their respective families. This is because the Trump administration does not have the administrative capacity (dozens of positions still remain open) or the initial record keeping to complete such an involved task was never done correctly and with court ordered deadlines past the pressure is on now more than ever. The only question remains, will the American government rise to the occasion or continue down this dark path?