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The Human Toll of the Trump Administration’s Cruel and Continuing Assault on Refugees and Immigrants

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Here is a roundup of some of the most recent stories and commentary:

RAICES Texas, a local service provider with a first-hand look at the human consequences of policy decisions, tweeted a horrifying thread last night that encapsulates what is happening in our names:

Today’s story to #EndFamilySeparation … Four months ago, Dad and 4-month-old entered at the Texas/Mexico border and requested #asylum. Dad and child were immediately separated and the baby put in ORR custody … Dad was detained in a #Texas detention center where @RAICESTEXAS consulted. Dad accepted a deportation to be quickly reunited w/ his infant child. However, the Dad was deported & NOT his child. The now 8-month-old baby has been in ORR custody for 4 months … The Mom and Dad now have once weekly Skype calls with their 8-month-old baby. That’s right, folks. They Skype with an infant … The baby is still in ORR custody!

During an appearance on “All In with Chris Hayes” last night, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) shares her first-hand impressions of her recent trip to a federal prison, where hundreds of asylum-seeking women are being housed. Rep. Jayapal notes that many of the moms she spoke with were separated from their kids without even the chance to say goodbye:

It was heartbreaking … I met with 174 women … the vast majority of them are seeking asylum … these women were forcibly separated from their children at the border … Not a one of them had been able to say goodbye to their children and none of them knew where their children were … everytime they talked about their children, they wept.

In Vox, Dara Lind writes, “People are dying because of the Trump administration’s immigration policy”:

People are dying because of United States immigration policy. Over the weekend, the Washington Post’s Nick Miroff uncovered the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz, a Honduran man who died by suicide less than a day after being separated from his wife and 3-year-old child by Border Patrol agents. Earlier in the week, Des Moines Register columnist Rekha Basu brought news of the death of Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco, a former Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient who’d been escorted back to Mexico after being stripped of his deportation protections by the Trump administration. Pacheco, who would have graduated from high school this month, instead had his throat slit in Mexico three weeks after returning to the country he’d left as a child.

These deaths were avoidable. They would not have happened if different policy choices had been made. But the Trump administration has made its choices, and the consequences should be known…

Jennifer Rubin’s Washington Post column, “The Trump administration’s immigration policy somehow gets crueler,” recaps the dehumanizing policy and makes a call to action:

The GOP apparently has decided that aside from abortion, the only real “family value” is keeping out brown and black children, even at the cost of their lives. Next time a right-wing lawmaker or a pro-life advocate raises family values or protection of women, ask them why they are comfortable with the latest Sessions decision. We could use some elected officials with family values. And we could use a court challenge to Sessions’s ongoing crusade against vulnerable women and children.

A CNN op-ed by television host and actress Padma Lakshmi notes her family’s own history and reflects on the current moment:

I was two years old when my mother left me in India with my grandparents to come to the United States. She was fleeing an abusive marriage, and needed to find a job and a safe place for us to land.

…I keep thinking how different our story might be if we came seeking asylum today: I could be that child, pulled from her mother’s arms by strangers, screaming in agony, confusion and terror. And my mother could be that woman — bereft, stunned — who lost the one thing that in migrating she was trying to protect.

I am not a policy expert or an official. But it’s time for people like me and you — parents, Americans — to stand up against this unconscionable policy that devastates the most basic and fundamental relationship human beings know.

This is what we are becoming.