The Rights Of Immigrant Children Are Being Violated

The UNHRC Doesn't Really Care For A Country Facing A Top-Down Humanitarian Crisis, Do 'U'?

Ignoring the rights of children and families that we have jurisdiction over is disgusting.

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Co-written by Henry Gallagher and Meghna Kamath

Xenophobia is certainly not a new occurrence from President Donald Trump. He ran his presidential campaign on building a wall and shutting people of other backgrounds out behind his incredibly expensive (but still hypothetical) wall. Since he has entered office, President Trump has tried his utmost to enact his alienating policies despite push-back from his own party as well as the Democrats in Congress. His latest adaptation is enacting his "zero tolerance" policy.

This zero tolerance policy incarcerates and plans to try every person, regardless of age or circumstance, who tries to cross the border in from Mexico illegally. President Trump and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions have said that this policy is necessary due to Obama-era Congressional laws. They proceeded to create several new ones and started to use established detention centers to detain kids of "tender age," older children and adults separately, regardless of breaking up families.

These children range in age from 8 to 9 months to around 13-years-old and are placed in "tender age" shelters, where they are detained while their parents are prosecuted. What's even more horrifying is that some detention shelters have hundreds of children locked up in cages of fencing and wire, like animals, to prevent them from escaping.

While the children in more permanent youth shelters are reportedly fed, clothed and taken good care of, they are often not allowed to communicate with their parents and are left traumatized as a result of the separation. Some of them may never see their parents again. Apart from being separated from the only people they were familiar with in a new country and being placed in a shelter with children and other caretakers they have never seen before, these children are even prohibited from hugging one another, a rule which caused immigrant shelter worker Antar Davidson to quit his job in protest.

A 16-year-old immigrant from Guatemala, Edmilson Aguilar Punay, described life in an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detention facility. He spoke of the "children crying all the time," the single toilet to which he had limited access and the crowded rooms with no windows. ICE officers reportedly often lied to the children, stating that they would be reunited with their parents even when said parents had already been deported. Even the food they were given was unhealthy and processed (fruit juice and chicken soup from the can), and the children often did not even know if it was night or day.

The conditions of the separated families is markedly similar to that of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. In fact, Japanese-American actor, director and activist George Takei has said that the conditions in which these children are being kept in are in fact worse than that of the Japanese internment. With hindsight at our side, this is now seen as one of the darkest periods of America's history as xenophobia swept the country as conflicts escalated overseas. The Japanese internment camps have been compared to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

The current Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director James Homan reacted to the accusations of Nazi actions by saying that the department is "simply following orders." What Mr. Homan failed to realize is that this is the exact defense Nazi generals used when being tried in Nuremberg for their crimes. Nuremberg is also where we established the Nuremberg Code, a set of rules for respectful and humane research practices.

Despite the parallels, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also insists that our current policy is not the same as the Holocaust because the zero-tolerance policy is meant to deter people from coming into our country, and "they were keeping the Jews from leaving." Mr. Sessions, just because they are not our children does not mean we can treat them as poorly as your judgement functions.

Apart from the inhumane policy itself, on Fox News, Republican representative Corey Lewandowski publicly mocked a 10-year-old child with Down syndrome who was separated from her mother due to the policy. His nonchalance and lack of empathy for the situation at hand truly paints a picture of what some Republican politicians feel about the issue at hand. Moreover, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, was seen dining at a Mexican restaurant where protesters shamed her for eating in peace while having made a decision that led to the tearing apart of thousands of families.

Amid the chaos of detaining the children and parents of immigrant families separately, America's UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced America's withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council due to perceived bias. She cited countries such as China and Venezuela violating human rights but continued to defend Israel despite their continuous persecution of Palestinians in permanent occupation and apartheid. She did not mention Saudi Arabia because, like Israel, they are our allies, so we can overlook their violations just as we do our own.

The United States has had a history of sidling up to not only general rights-violating countries but also their dictators.

President Donald Trump has kept this trend. He has dedicated money toward arming Saudi Arabia, despite their involvement in the bombing of women, children and families in Yemen. He recently had a summit with Kim Jong Un of North Korea. This in itself was not a poor move as diplomacy is always preferable to escalation, but Trump then proceeded to praise Kim Jong Un's choke-hold on power. Considering that Kim Jong Un traps the citizens of his country in poor, censored conditions in one of the biggest hostage situations in history, and the praising of his fascist ways is very concerning coming from one who is also willing to scrap human rights.

In late June, first lady Melania Trump visited the Upbring New Hope Children's Center in McAllen, Texas, a shelter that had reports of 12 health and safety violations. On her journey to the center, she wore the controversial coat from Zara with graphics that said "I Don't Really Care, Do U?" Her choice of clothing was considered deeply insensitive and disrespectful to the issue at hand. President Trump commented on it later, saying that it was simply a coat, and people should not look too far into things such as one's choice of clothing.

However, critics still deem that the wardrobe of a president and his first lady is chosen very carefully, and each piece is styled for a certain purpose, causing many to wonder what message the first lady was trying to convey.

The public has rightly been outraged at the measures taken by the Trump administration. Trump has since backed down from his stance in that he has instead decided that families will no longer be separated and then that those already separated would be made whole again.

While this is a good reversal, damage has already been done, and rights have been violated. Innocent children have been traumatized and the United States is further isolating itself from the discussion of global human rights. The fact that both this whole ordeal was allowed to occur and that top officials defended and still continue to defend these actions should cause Americans to worry about the state of their country and the beliefs representatives are portraying through their recent actions.

Cover Image Credit:

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/06/21/us/21tenderage-01ALT/merlin_139921515_bde98760-a712-4a14-9654-b9178a151f9c-superJumbo.jpg

Popular Right Now

8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.

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For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

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The Movie Watchers

The Types Of People That Watch Movies

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This past weekend I saw the movie of the life time, Avengers Endgame. It was the culmination of 10 years in the making and no there will not be any spoilers in this piece of writing. I however noticed the same trends that occurred each time I went to the movies. The I saw the same people, however they were just in different bodily forms. When my eyes were not glued to the screen out of sheer anxiety and thrill, I managed to catch a quick glance at the type of people that plague our good theaters.

To start off, there are always those people that are good people and don't disturb the movie experiences of others. These are the quiet people, the ones who keep their eyes on the movie and focus on nothing else. These are the people we should all aspire to be, with their bloodshot eyes from not blinking as to not miss a single moment of the movie. While I am not always the Eyes Glued To The Screen movie watcher, I can say with assurance that I am a somewhat follower of this rule. I think everyone should learn from these people.

Next comes the traditional On My Phone Like A Idiot in the movie movie watcher. This is by far the most annoying of all the people that come to a movie. Like I came to be entertained and I paid good money for this, I didn't pay 14 dollars and 31 cents to hear some girl gossip on her phone to her friend about how her boyfriend didn't bring her flowers or some middle aged man attempt to close a business deal while his kids were watching the movie. Either leave your business at home or for the courtesy of others, at least leave it outside the theater. No one brings me more anger than these people just because they don't know any common courtesy or manners.

If your at the movie, you might get hungry or thirsty so its normal for people to bring in some food, most typically being popcorn. This is fine and all but don't chew so loudly that it sounds like Jurassic Park to the person next to you. Or don't sip up your drink in such a way that it makes the people around you wonder how your mother raised you. I call this person, the Slurper. Just, be chill and watch the movie. At least your not like the On My Phone Like An Idiot where you're an inconvenience to the whole theater.

Movies are a great way to get distracted from the horrors that are our personal lives. They are solace for some people, giving us a place to escape from reality. So please, don't disturb the kind movie goers who just need a break from that relentless school, job, or even family. Just give them their peace. So sit down, turn off your cellphone, and enjoy the movie.

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