This week, the Trump administration announced the gutting of resources for migrant children in detention while at the same time continuing to unconstitutionally direct money to the ineffective border wall. This is only one of the many attacks the Trump administration has carried out on migrant children, as DHS Watch, a project of America’s Voice, laid out in detail today. And while these children stand to lose schooling, legal aid, access to sports and outside activities, active-duty troops are assigned a border wall makeover to “improve aesthetic appearance” by painting a one mile stretch of the wall in California.
If that isn’t enough, the OIG’s latest report reveals the shocking conditions migrants are facing in U.S. detention facilities. From extreme overcrowding and misuse of solitary confinement, to expired food, horrific kitchen conditions and rundown bathrooms, the state of some facilities is barbaric at best. It’s clear the administration has no regard for the lives of immigrants, the well being of children, or the appropriate deployment of armed forces on our southern border.
The administration’s list of cruelty and failures keeps on growing as conditions on the border worsen. And while Trump continues in his vain attempt to strongarm more anti-immigrant policies, refugees seeking asylum are suffering the consequences. The Seattle Times editorial board notes:
Trump makes it worse by prioritizing symbolic gestures, like the wall and now tariffs, over the harder work that’s required: negotiating reforms and reducing backlogs in the legal system handling the flow of asylum-seekers and immigrants entering legally and illegally. Bureaucratic failings, combined with mean-spirited and race-baiting policy direction from the White House, has led to abhorrent outcomes like thousands of children being separated from families with no centralized system to track or reunite them.
…Americans should see these threats for what they are: bullying and distractions from our failure to enact meaningful, compassionate immigration reform and constructive, deliberate foreign policy.
According to Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice, “In prioritizing his border wall makeover over access to schooling and legal aid for children, or humane and decent conditions for those in detention, Trump has shown the American people the depths of his cruelty. We know this is not the end, and while Trump barrels down this path, lives are lost, children are traumatized and families are broken.”