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Detention Of Five-Year-Old Boy, Reportedly A US Citizen, Among Disturbing Stories Emerging From Trump’s Muslim Ban

 

More and more disturbing reports are emerging about some of the individuals and families detained or deported under Donald Trump’s unconstitutional ban targeting Muslims and refugees.

Trump has been aided in his efforts by rogue Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents. According to reports, these agents have essentially become a Deportation Force for Trump, after ignoring a New York judge’s order to halt the deportation of individuals falling under Trump’s sweeping ban.

These agents have detained some families and individuals for hours at a time, and coerced others into signing documents voiding their visas. Among them have been students, tourists, and reportedly a five-year-old US citizen boy.

Others barred from entering the US despite having prior permission are sick children — including a one-year-old with cancer — in need to urgent medical attention.

From the LA Times:

At LAX, they were forced to wait, sometimes for more than 24 hours: an Iraqi grandmother seeing her daughter for the first time in nearly two decades. A 78-year-old Iranian woman visiting nine of her children, all U.S. citizens. A Syrian-born businessman who planned to tour farms with co-workers.

It’s difficult to tabulate the number of those who were held in LAX and for how long, and harder still to determine how many were deported. Federal officials have not provided statistics on those held or deported, despite repeated requests.

Some, such as Sara Yarjani, were pressured to void their visas, an allegation echoed by immigration attorneys.

Yarjani was held for 20 hours at LAX and told that unless she voided her student visa, she would be deported and face a five-year ban from reentering the U.S., according to a statement issued by her and a professor at California Institute for Human Science, where she is enrolled.

She signed the withdrawal papers, and only then was she allowed to use a phone, said the professor, Ji Hyang Padma. Next, she was ushered by armed officers to a plane bound for Oslo, Norway, and eventually arrived in Austria, where her family lives.

In Texas, a 16-year-old has been detained for more than three days now, according to the Houston Chronicle, after traveling to Jordan to renew his visa. The teen was detained following his arrival at Bush IAH. “Mohammad’s native Jordan is not on the list,” notes the Chronicle, “and Mohammad is not a refugee”:

A 16-year-old Jordanian visa holder, who attends Katy High School west of Houston, has been detained by U.S. immigration officials for more than three days following President Trump’s controversial immigration executive order, according to his brother and an attorney representing the family.

Mohammad Abu Khadra, who lives in Katy with his brother Rami, traveled to Jordan last week to renew his visa. When he flew into Bush IAH airport Saturday, officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained him at the airport for about 48 hours. He was transferred to an Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter in Chicago Monday, where he remained as of Tuesday afternoon. The teen has no access to his cell phone or to a computer, his brother said.

At Washington Dulles last Saturday, a five-year-old child — reportedly a US citizen — was detained for hours by agents. A viral video showed the boy reuniting with his mother, who is Iranian.

The incident was brought to the attention of White House spokesman Sean Spicer, who then accused reporters of “nitpicking” stories. A defensive Spicer then refused to apologize for government officials detaining a child, saying that “to assume that just because of someone’s age or gender or whatever that they don’t pose a threat would be misguided and wrong.”

The ban is having devastating effects among the most vulnerable group imaginable: sick children. In Massachusetts, a hospitalized child has been torn apart from his entire family.

The boy was severely burned in an Iraqi refugee camp. After the family got some help obtaining travel visas, the boy was rushed to a specialty hospital in Boston, where he continues to need intensive care. But due to Trump’s cruel and inhumane ban, the boy’s stricken family is unable to reunite with him in the United States:

Many families have been torn apart including the family of a boy who was badly burned at a refugee camp.

After preliminary surgery, his dad returned to their war-ravaged country to be with his wife as she gave birth to Dilbreen’s little brother.

Dilbreen was set for a second surgery this month. His family was set to stay at the Peace House in Ipswich. Then they got the news their visas were suddenly revoked.

“So they are stranded in Iraq,” Schuchardt said. “The child is here. The need for surgery is pressing.”

The Washington Post reports that refugee children with congenital heart disease and cancer — “medical conditions so ­severe that normally their journeys to the United States would be expedited” — are now in imminent risk of life-threatening complications and death: 

One is a 9-year-old Somali child in Ethiopia with a congenital heart disease that cannot be treated in a refugee camp. Another is a 1-year-old Sudanese boy with cancer. A third is a Somali boy with a severe intestinal disorder living in a camp that doesn’t even have the colostomy bags he needs.

After President Trump’s executive order last week, their resettlement in America was put on hold. Now, the organization responsible for processing refugees in sub-Saharan Africa, Church World Service, says that order could be their death sentence.

The organization compiled an internal list of some of its most desperate cases, and it is urging the U.S. government to lift the suspension. “When you’re talking about a 9-year-old with congenital heart problems, a [delay of a] day is too long,” said Sarah Krause, the senior director of Church World Service’s immigration and refugee program. “It is unnecessary for these individuals to die while waiting for resettlement.”

Another child — “born without an eye and with a seriously disfigured face” — will not be able to resettle in the US with her family, despite having passed all interviews and security clearances.

From the New York Times:

Following two complex operations at a Barcelona hospital, Sham is due to receive an eye prosthesis next Wednesday. Her family had then planned to resettle in the United States.”

They had already completed the required interviews and cleared all security checks before the plans were blocked by President Trump’s executive order to bar citizens from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries seen as threatening to America’s safety.

“They were travel-ready, and they are now barred,” said Jayne Fleming, the head of the human rights team at Reed Smith, an American law firm that has been helping Sham and her family. Ms. Fleming and her team are now scrambling to see whether Britain, Germany or another country could instead welcome the family. “They’re distressed over not knowing what the future holds for them.”

In another disturbing incident from Washington Dulles, two parents and their child appeared be be cuffed in a viral image that has earned tens of thousands of shares on Twitter. The father, Ramez Snober, later saw the photograph and shared his family’s horrifying experience in his own series of tweets: