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As the Trump administration continues its relentless assault on immigrants and refugees, the human toll mounts. Trump and his administration has turned its back on simple American values like decency, dignity and compassion.
With Stephen Miller now seeking to zero-out refugee admissions from their already devastatingly low numbers and with the consequences of the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy becoming clearer by the day, the number of heartbreaking stories will continue to grow.
According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication at America’s Voice: “The mantra at the White House is ‘keep them out, kick them out, and keep them down’ no matter if they are sick, pregnant, homeless, in danger, have deep roots in the U.S. or are our neighbors who are victims of Hurricane Dorian’s ravages. From President Trump and Stephen Miller’s point of view, preventing foreigners from setting foot in America and removing any whose feet are already planted here is the goal, regardless of the humanitarian, legal or moral consequences. It is heartless and cruel.”
Below are examples from just the past few days of the real lives affected by the policies and practices of this administration.
Immigration attorney Miriam Aukerman writes: “When you foresee a death, there’s no joy in being right. On June 4, I told my colleagues that Jimmy Aldaoud — a medically frail Michigan man who came to the United States in 1979 when he was an infant — was not going to survive. That was the day his sister Rita Bolis called to tell me he had been deported and was sleeping on a bench in an airport in Najaf, Iraq.
Mr. Aldaoud had never been to Iraq. He was born in Greece to Iraqi refugee parents. He had no ID and no ability to get the medical care he needed for his diabetes. He did not know Arabic, much less how to navigate a war-torn society where being Americanized makes you a target. On Aug. 6, Ms. Bolis contacted me again to say that her brother was dead. His family believes he died because he couldn’t obtain the medicine he needed in Iraq.’
Lomi Kriel writes about Roland Gramajo, arrested by ICE on his way to work: “The 40-year-old father of five American children has long been a devoted community activist, advocating particularly on behalf of his Guatemalan countrymen. In 2018, Mayor Sylvester Turner declared Gramajo’s birthday of May 17 as the advocate’s official day in the city for being a ‘true leader with an exceptional drive to improve the quality of life’ in Houston
… Activists and community leaders who know Gramajo said they find it odd how he suddenly landed on the agency’s radar after 15 years of living here illegally following that deportation. They said his arrest is the latest instance of the Trump administration deporting longtime immigrants with deep American roots, rather than focusing on serious criminals and violent offenders.
Associated Press: “U.S. Stops Pregnant Migrant’s Labor, Sends Her Back to Mexico”
Eight-and-a-half-months pregnant and experiencing contractions, an El Salvadoran woman crossed the Rio Grande — only to be apprehended by Border Patrol. She was not allowed to stay.
Agents took her to the hospital, where doctors gave her medication to stop the contractions. And then, according to the woman and her lawyer, she was almost immediately sent back to Mexico. There, she joined the more than 38,000 people forced to wait across the border for immigration court hearings under a rapidly expanding Trump administration policy. And her plight highlights the health risks and perils presented by the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program.
As outrage continues to grow about the administration’s plan to quietly end medical deferred action – and as we caution vigilance to ensure that their supposed decision to walk back the guidance is actually followed – the stories of those who would be directly affected by the needless cruelty continue to emerge. BuzzFeed’s Salvador Hernandez writes:
Maria Isabel Bueso was diagnosed with a rare and debilitating genetic disease in Guatemala when, at 7 years old, she was invited to the US to take part in a clinical test.
Not only have the weekly, six-hour treatments at the University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland kept her alive, but doctors say Bueso, now 24, helped play a role in making the clinical test a success, helping extend the lives of patients like her. Now she and her mother fear they could be deported and lose access to the treatment, leading to her death.
Washington Post: ‘I’m watching my daughter cry’: Bahamas hurricane survivors are kicked off ferry over U.S. visa demands:
While CBP is disputing some accounts, the Washington Post reported on a story, first broken by Brian Entin, Investigative Reporter in Miami for 7 News, @WSVN.
Hundreds of Hurricane Dorian survivors crowded into a ferry anchored in Freeport, Bahamas, on Sunday evening, after days on the sweltering islands with limited food, water and power. Just 2½ hours across the ocean, safety and relief waited in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Then, an announcement blared from the boat’s intercom speakers.
‘‘Please, all passengers that don’t have a U.S. visa, please proceed to disembark,’ a crew member said in a video captured on board.