Opinion: I’m Going to Texas, Because It’s the American Thing to Do

Screenshot from video showing children wrapped in foil at U.S. Border Patrol Central Processing Center in McAllen, Tex.

Anyone else feeling agitated from seeing children forcibly removed from their parents in Texas? I rarely lose sleep, but in a span of just one week, I have lost more than just sleep: I lost a sense of action. It started with disbelief. Then confusion. Then shock. Then anger. Then frustration. Then helplessness. Then recognition that I can do something about this.

I began my social justice work in the 1990s, organizing the Justice for Janitors movement in Los Angeles. We secretly met with janitors who had been wrongfully treated by their employers (e.g. wage deferments, excessive work hours, no lunch breaks, threats of deportation, etc.) and held protests, rallies and meetings with elected officials. I was on the frontlines and it felt good and right. Fighting for those who don’t have a voice has always been my cause. I suppose when you grow up poor, you experience feeling powerless first-hand.

But seeing children forcibly separated from their parents—many of whom were seeking asylum—activated me in ways that were different than the social justice work of 20 years ago. One thing I know for sure: If I don’t act, I’m part of the problem. That is to say, I’m choosing to be complacent and allowing this brutal practice to take place. In my country. And in the state I was born in.

Here are some facts about the immigration fiasco taking place along our borders:

• There is no law that requires family separation along the U.S. borders.

• The U.S. courts do not require family separation.

• Nearly 2,322 children, ages 12 and younger, have been separated from their parents and detained in cells. This number represents only 20% of immigrant children currently held by the U.S. government.

• The Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is overseeing the detention centers.

So, I am mobilizing community activists, social justice leaders, movers and shakers, grandmothers, church goers, nonprofits and legal aid organizations, for a trip to McCallen, Tex. (the main site where the children are held) from June 27 to July 2.

Join me, Dolores Huerta, LUPE (La Union del Pueblo Entero), ACLU TX, Las Americas and others to: Develop a game plan for the reunification, hold rallies, walk to the ports of entry to bring asylum seekers over the border, translate legal work, and create a repository of contact information of parents to eventually reunify them with their children.

To learn more on how you can help, either remotely or in Texas, download a guide book at: https://www.strategicinsights.group/

1 https://www.aclu.org/blog/immigrants-rights/immigrants-rights-and-detention/fact-checking-family-separation?redirect=blog/fact-checking-family-separation
2 Ibid.
3 https://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/many-children-detained-under-zero-tolerance-border-policy-are-under-n885371
4 https://www.npr.org/2018/06/19/621065383/what-we-know-family-separation-and-zero-tolerance-at-the-border

0 0 vote
Article Rating

23 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cy Husain
2 years ago

If you truly seek to understand what is going on with this issue, I recommend a recent interview with Human Rights Attorney Jennifer Harbury. Today’s Refugee Crisis Is Blowback from U.S. Dirty Wars in Central America! She has been active in the response to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. Her husband, Efraín Bámaca Velásquez, was a Mayan comandante and guerrilla who was disappeared after he was captured by the Guatemalan army in the 1980s. After a long campaign, she found there was U.S. involvement in the cover-up of her husband’s murder and torture. Now she continues to work with… Read more »

wehoboy
wehoboy
2 years ago

Oh relax, the kids are being treated better than in their whole poverty stricken miserable lives.The abuse is dragging kids across the world and using them as pawns. The parents should all be arrested or sent back at the border. And they ARE ASKED if they want to leave now or else. Their choice. They are criminal invaders. And kids cry all the time. When mommy and daddy go to work and they cry, is that abuse? NO! They get over after a cookie.

blueeyedboy
blueeyedboy
2 years ago

There are quite a few ports of entry for these migrants who are seeking asylum to go to that can be reached safely and easily where they can make their case. So why are they making the very long and dangerous trek to the border? They know that with the weird laws on this side of the border they can almost for sure be able to stay. Minors can be detained for only a maximum of 20 days, but the asylum process takes a good deal longer. So when the children are released back to the parents, and the parents… Read more »

blueeyedboy
blueeyedboy
2 years ago

During Obama’s years the migrants were overwhelmingly male, with only a few women and children. So there weren’t nearly as many children to deal with, unlike now when there are far, far more minors. So you’re comparing apples and oranges.

Clinton signed the law to separate children from their parents, and Bush and Obama enforced it. Trump, by Executive Order, is breaking that law to reunite parents with their children.

Cy Husain
2 years ago
Reply to  blueeyedboy

You might want to see my posting on Sun, Jun 24, 2018 at 3:39 am, it has links showing that Trump talking point has been completely debunked. Trump ONLY signed the Executive Order recently in light of the problems HIS policy was causing! The reality is that it’s simply NOT the case that Trump’s policy is the same as Obama’s.

With help from Fox News, Trump pushes brazen lie about his family separation policy
“Fake News is working overtime!”

Cy Husain
2 years ago

Come now, I could easily refer you to my postings during the Obama administration criticizing their role in promoting American Imperialism and the killing of many indigenous people all over the planet. The current problem with Trump is several orders of magnitude worse, including on the domestic front! As for the Latinx parents endangering their children by undocumented immigration, you should consider that this is in the face of certain death that may well justify the risk. It’s official: San Salvador is the murder capital of the world! That’s what you get when the CIA trains death squads via the… Read more »

wehoboy
wehoboy
2 years ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

Stop with the American Imperialism nonsense. Enough! We have done so much good around the world it is ridiculous. And same for your “certain” death nonsense. If that was the case there would not be so freakin many of them to begin with.Enough! These people need to stay and fight for their cause like Americans have since the beginning. If you run you lose. These people are losers. Stay and right the wrongs. Where would we be if we did not sacrifice and fight.

Cy Husain
2 years ago
Reply to  wehoboy

The argument you are making is consistent with Holocaust denial! The biggest genocide in human history didn’t occur in Nazi Germany, but on American soil. Nearly 100 MILLION Native American were slaughtered and lost their land to make the United States. The land you are on is occupied Aztlán and, the Latinx people who are being ethnically cleansed from their homeland are genetically “Native American.”

Michael G.
Michael G.
2 years ago

Let’s face the grim fact of how the United States has totally interfered in Central and South American politics. Under the guise of the CIA. One of the most corrupt institutions in the world. They’ve killed leaders they don’t like, they put in dictators they like and killed economies to benefit the military industrial complex.. They are the USA. Let’s start facing facts. We are one of the most aggressive ugly countries on the planet. And these poor immigrants are the victims of corrupt stinking political hacks and and the 1% Elites. The Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, the banks and… Read more »

Off The Cliff
Off The Cliff
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael G.

One thing is for sure, we have turned our infrastructure into third world country standards. We have lost our soul and sense of humanity. We also never cured the injustice towards the Native American community which never bodes well. When you leave turbulent air in your wake it catches up with you. If the myopic individuals, not all, of the upper layer succeed we will be a thought balloon without a tether and without friendly relationships. That’s how it goes when folks head for the cliff and don’t pay attention to the caution signs. Be prepared for the big bang… Read more »

Observer
Observer
2 years ago

I’m certain Tai is doing this for The Greater Good.

Dc
Dc
2 years ago

Wow, this is incredible. I applaud your efforts and thank you for organizing this trip. We can all learn from your leadership.

MryJtc
MryJtc
2 years ago

Just a side note. Trump tweeted that this picture of the foil on the kids was from the Obama era. Also, Time magazine apologized today about their fake cover with the child crying. The child was never separated from their parents.

This is a complex issue; always has been. But one thing I’d like to add is that every country has their laws about immigration, which is a process. You don’t jump borders to become a citizen. I’d love to move to lots of countries and if I did I’d follow the laws.

Henry (Hank) Scott
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  MryJtc

Ås the caption notes this was from a recent video made by the managers of that facility

MJJ
MJJ
2 years ago
Reply to  MryJtc

Whether or not this photo is recent, one can type “Obama migrants cages” into any search engine and …see the pics. My point is not to put down Obama though. Yes, the issue is extremely complex. But I understand what you mean about crossing borders. I’d love to just walk into France if I could.

Cy Husain
2 years ago
Reply to  MJJ

You might want to run that through an internet search engine as of today. The “Obama migrant cages” and the immigrant families separated and kept in detention facilities with foil blankets, basically the same policy as Trump, has been debunked!

No, Donald Trump’s separation of immigrant families was not Barack Obama’s policy!

Basically Trump started the rumor and the right-wing internet blogs ran with it!

Trump’s Lies Are Getting Out Of Control – 71 Lies In Just 14 Days!

MJJ
MJJ
2 years ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

Under Obama’s administration migrant kids were handed over to human traffickers as well. I guess you’ll just call it more evidence of American sexual imperialism or something… https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/did-obama-administration-children-human-traffickers/

Cy Husain
2 years ago
Reply to  MJJ

YES sexual exploitation is a major oppressive element of imperialism, and Obama’s history as a “corporate” attorney advocating capitalist interests would make him quite unaware of the threat “the free market” posed to vulnerable migrant children!

wehoboy
wehoboy
2 years ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

Fox news does not lie! CNN/MSNBC do! They were under Obama, accept it. And there is nothing at all wrong with the old system. Blame the parents, the illegal criminals who knew all about this beforehand. their choice.

Cy Husain
2 years ago
Reply to  wehoboy

Try linking to some credible sources, what you posted are long debunked talking points from right-wing blogs! (I have shown this in prior postings)

MJJ
MJJ
2 years ago

Nobody likes seeing it. But both Bush and Obama did the same thing (even with the cages) and at least Trump moderated the law by changing it so kids can stay with the parents. Still, though, I wonder about how fit or not some of these parents are, when you consider what a dangerous trek they made the kids take.

stae
stae
2 years ago
Reply to  MJJ

think for a moment…most of these people are desperate to get out of the horrible conditions under which they are living. they are risking the ‘dangerous trek’ for what they believe will be a better life. yes, they are putting their lives at risk, but the conditions they are escaping from are far worse.

MJJ
MJJ
2 years ago
Reply to  stae

That’s debatable, though, and might only be true about certain cases. I agree that some of them might be like that. But I know Central america well, and it’s not all some horror like…the Sudan or something. But I know what you’re saying has to be considered too.

23
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x