More disturbing examples of how Trump war on immigrants is separating American families and trampling on our values
More observers are reporting disturbing examples of how the Trump Administration’s immigration enforcement agencies are unshackled and unaccountable, trampling on American values and separating American families. From the must-read recent TIME magazine cover story to ongoing disturbing examples of ICE and CBP splitting families apart, it’s clear that we are in the midst of a dark chapter in our history and that policymakers should work to rein in ICE and CBP abuses rather than reward them with additional support.
From just the past few days, below we present more examples of how the Trump Administration’s immigration enforcement is sowing fear, separating families, and advancing a cruel and counterproductive agenda that is at odds with our values:
A powerful new CNN segment, featured on Erin Burnett’s “Out Front” show, explores the fears and extraordinary lengths one California family is going to in order to stay together. Titled “Hiding from ICE Inside a California Safe House,” the segment features interviews with two U.S. citizen students and daughters whose Dad has already been deported and whose Mom is facing potential detention and deportation if she encounters ICE. The segment also interviews the mother, as well as a stranger whose support is providing the family a safe house where they can stay together despite their fears (watch the segment at this link).
A Washington Post story by Michael Miller and Jon Gerberg, titled “‘Where’s Mommy?’: A Family Fled Death Threats, Only to Face Separation at the Border,” captures how the Trump Administration’s CBP is separating families at the border as a matter of policy while denying and dismissing the sweeping nature of their family separation practices. The Post story explores the broader trend through the lens of one family fleeing violence and facing threats in El Salvador:
“They fled to the U.S. to escape violence. Then their kids were taken away. They had come so far together, almost 3,000 miles across three countries and three borders: a mother with three children, fleeing a gang in El Salvador that had tried to kill her teenage son. But now, in a frigid Border Patrol facility in Arizona where they were seeking asylum, Silvana Bermudez was told she had to say goodbye. Her kids were being taken from her.
…Once a rarity, family separations at the border have soared under President Trump, according to advocacy groups and immigration lawyers. The administration first put forth the idea a year ago, when John F. Kelly, then secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said he was considering separating parents from their children as a deterrent to illegal immigration. Kelly, now the White House chief of staff, quickly walked back his comments after they triggered public outrage, and the controversy ebbed as illegal immigration plunged to historic lows. But when border apprehensions began to rise again late last year, so, too, did reports of children being stripped from their parents by Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
…’We are hearing about hundreds of families,’ said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project … ‘The truth is that whether they call it a policy or not, they are doing it,’ Gelernt said.
For Silvana’s children, the separation was bewildering and frightening.
They had no idea where their mother was. Did their father, who had fled to the United States months earlier, know where they were? They were told they’d join their family in a few days, but days turned into weeks.
Surrounded by strangers in a strange place, they wondered: Would they ever see their parents again?”
In a story titled, “Dreamer Medical Student Fights to Keep Her Dad, ‘Example of the American Dream,’ in the U.S.,” Gabe Ortiz at Daily Kos writes about the disturbing story of Felix Garcia, a Georgia father of three facing imminent deportation. Ortiz writes:
“Belsy Garcia Manrique already has her hands full as a medical student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago. But since Donald Trump’s election, she’s been worried. Garcia Manrique is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, and the uncertain future of her work permit—and the Republican Congress’s inaction on the DREAM Act—can’t even guarantee she’ll be able to work as a doctor when she graduates. Now adding to the chaos in her life is that her dad, Felix Garcia, is facing deportation
… Nope, it’s not alleged money launderers and domestic abusers who are getting locked up, but instead hardworking people who are faceless to this administration. But they are somebody. They are Garcia Manrique’s dad. “My father considers the United States his home,” she said, “and he is a living example of the American Dream. His family and future is here and it would be immoral to separate another family for political gain.”