This Father's Day, Dems Will March on a Tent Encampment for Isolated Migrant Children

Illustration for article titled This Fathers Day, Dems Will March on a Tent Encampment for Isolated Migrant Children
Image: A Central American child who is traveling with a caravan of migrants, peers at the border wall from a bus carrying the group to a gathering of migrants living on both sides of the border, in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, April 29, 2018. (AP)

As the warm and fuzzy Father’s Day video greetings roll in over Twitter, Congressperson Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) is planning a march on Tornillo, Texas, a name which is fast becoming synonymous with barbarity. It’s been widely reported that up to 360 migrant children who have been separated from their families are expected to be held at a tent encampment there, representing just a fraction of the nearly 2,000 children who’ve been separated from “alleged adult guardians,” according to the Department of Homeland Security.

On Thursday, Jeff Sessions delightedly invoked the power of God, and a touch of 19th-century bigotry, to justify the new “zero tolerance” policy. “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13,” he said, grinning, “to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.”

“The government tolerated lynching just like they tolerated slavery,” Reverend Jesse Jackson pointed out on Friday.

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The past month has brought a torrent of horrible stories stemming from the new policy: an undocumented mother says her baby was taken from her while she was breastfeeding, which the DHS denies; a Honduran father took his own life in custody after being separated from his wife and child, which Border Patrol confirms; and MSNBC toured a detention facility, finding “essentially a prison” for migrant children.

It’s also been brought to the public’s attention that Tornillo is a furnace this week, with temperatures expected to rise to 104 degrees next Saturday.

But, Rep. O’Rourke said in a statement on Thursday, “It really doesn’t matter where the tent cities are constructed, we shouldn’t be doing this.”

Several Democrats, including Senators Chris Van Hollen (MD) and Jeff Merkley (OR) will be making the trip. The march convenes tomorrow at 9:30.

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Staff reporter, Gizmodo. wkimball @ gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

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Everybody is talking about how this is shameful to Americans. True, but a huge number of decent Americans are doing whatever they can to fight this evil. As a foreigner, I would like to approach it from another angle: this is shameful to the rest of the World, specially Western nations who claim to be “civilized”, including my Brazil, who is far from being a power player in the global theater, but has some weight in Latin America.

Because every single one of those nations should be denouncing this. At the U.N., domestically, everywhere. Their governments should be calling the American ambassadors in their countries, and demanding explanations. Maybe even further, demanding the US government open these “camps” for inspection by multilateral humanitarian inspections by U.N. members, as the U.S. do to other countries.

And please, I don’t say this to offend Americans. This is to shame, to call attention, to the actions of this administration. The government, not the people, is to be called upon this abhorrent behavior. And the rest of the World should also be shamed for trying to play the same game of passivity played in the 30's, toward the rise of Nazis in Germany. I don’t want to hear in the future they saying “We didn’t know”. They will be as guilt as this administration themselves. Specially Latin American nations, because Latin people are the main victims of these crimes against human rights. Specially Brazil, my Brazil, who is the major nation in the region.

You know what? I’ll write to my congress representative here, demanding something like that, maybe I start an online petition on this. Probably it will ammount to nothing, since right now Brazil is being ruled by what is basically a criminal organization disguised as a political party, but fuck it. With the current migratory policies, I’ll probably have my US visa revoked, but I’ve already visited the parks in Orlando, my childhood dream, and it’s a worthy cause to sacrifice my pending dream of visiting New York for.