To say that the childhood that today’s immigrant children have had here has been a disastrous experience in the last two or three years is, literally, an understatement. In every case, the category of analysis should be to what level of trauma they have arrived, taking into account both the shadows of their infinite journey from their countries of origin, to the way in which they have become hostages to a migration policy of rejection, of psychological torture, of physical abuse, incarceration, and expulsion.
But that part of reality, which weighs heavily on the conscience, would not have taken place if those who devised this entire anti-immigrant scheme had not acted with perversity, acting consciously evil and enjoying it.
This is precisely the first reaction that arises after the blunt report of the Office of the Inspector General of its very own Department of Homeland Security, which after an exhaustive investigation into the policy of Zero Tolerance of the current U.S. government found that the intention of these officials was, in reality, to separate more than 26,000 young immigrants from their families.
That, of course, without any idea for how to administer data, routes, logistics, nor how to channel the bare minimum toward their health care and feeding. Without taking into consideration the crisis that would be unleashed, much less how to contain it. For that reason alone, this very perversity must be classified as a crime against humanity for which, some day, those responsible for this complete barbarity will be held to account.
Based on this, it seems that the children were considered to be just a massive problem that had to be punished, humiliated, and dehumanized, in reciprocity for having dared, along with their families, to aspire to a better life in the country that, they believed, could give them protection due to the functioning of its very laws, its history, and its tradition of supposed humanitarianism that this nation has always bragged about.
Add to this situation the fact that, according to the United Nations, between January and August of this year more than 30,000 migrant children from Central America were returned from the United States and even Mexico to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and the picture is even more devastating.
Meanwhile, as has been reported in recent weeks, more than a million cases are backlogged in the U.S. immigration courts, half of which are asylum claims, a migration benefit disdained by the current administration which calls it “a scam,” contravening not only our own laws, but those that dictate the international obligation to protect children, especially those who find themselves permanently displaced due to a crisis of any kind, poverty, war, violence, and even natural disasters.
Their situation, nevertheless, is worsened still as days pass in the Mexican border towns to which many of them have been sent, among the already large group of asylum-seekers, which exceeds 55,000 human beings.
Exposed to illnesses for living literally in the elements with their families, in addition to being targeted by local organized crime groups, it is certain that they will feel for the rest of their lives this sensation of living under permanent threat, aggravated by the rejection that they have experienced at such an early stage in their lives.
Without a doubt, these have been days to be told in detail, but especially to re-humanize not only the concept of the immigrant but the people that embody this figure that portrays an entire body of the history of humanity, especially of children.
In that way, while the process of impeachment against today’s occupant of the White House takes shape, who has been anything but a good example of the investment he represents, the Honduran Joel Ramírez Palma, a key witness in the construction failures that finally collapsed a building in New Orleans said with total frankness after being deported to his country of origin days ago: “The need to help my family move forward, that is the main thing that brought me to the United States.”
He added that the only thing he would ask of U.S. authorities is that “they be more conscious, that they have more consideration because sometimes they do inhumane things. I do not consider myself a criminal or a danger to the United States.”
In contrast, the government of the United States is making a huge effort to ensure that the rest of the world definitively loses its hope in this nation and what, at least to some, it still represents.
And meanwhile, in the middle of all of this chaos —whether it be in a detention center, an unsanitary camp along the Mexican border, or already expelled to their countries of origin—, migrant children continue to grow.
But their hopes might not.
To read the Spanish-language version of this article, click here.