Nel's New Day

June 8, 2019

Rep. Walden: These Are ‘Americans’

“It underscores the sanctity of life.”—AL Gov. Kay Ivey about the new draconian anti-choice law that she signed

 “We value life. That is what makes us unique.”—Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the immigration crisis

These statements honor fetuses and white people. As for the rest of humanity, here is their treatment from Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT):

Not only is DDT still separating children from their parents at the southern border, he is separating mothers from their newborn children.

Medications for migrants, including for issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes, are taken at the border. Other medications they lose are for prenatal vitamins, seizures, and asthma, but these medications are not replaced. ICE has tried to suppress information about an epidemic of mumps sweeping throughout the migrants. Not one case was reported last year. Migrant children are dying in federal custody because of no health care for the first time in a decade.

Border Patrol agents cage asylum seeking families who wait for processing and give them only Mylar sheets while migrants are forced them to sleep on rocky terrain where temperatures drop into the 30s. Every three hours they are awakened and forced to stand in a “sleep deprivation tactic.” Migrants also suffer from lack of food, water, and medical care, and agents spray them with water from water bottles. One El Paso (TX) facility meant to hold 125 people contained 900 people.  

Media attention and the threat of a visit from congressional Democrats caused the Border Patrol to move migrants from a fenced area under an El Paso bridge to “more space and more shelter capability”—tents in a parking lot. With temperatures in the low 40s, children were forced to remove additional layers of clothing. Border patrol agents threw away their clothing and blankets. [visual migrants]

The DHS inspector general reported expired food—even raw chicken leaking blood on refrigeration units—and other insanitary conditions in bathrooms in a surprise visit to four privately-operated immigrant detention facilities last year. The IG’s report expressed concern about nooses in detainee cells, misuse of solitary confinement, and delayed medical care.

Last summer, migrant youth and families were housed at polluted military bases with contaminated water. Exposure to the toxic chemicals can cause cancer, neurological damage, developmental harm, and many other diseases.  The problem was hidden for six months.

A child with a broken nose had no medical assistance for over a month. Children cannot go to the bathroom without writing a request and then are blocked from the bathroom if they ask too many times. The law has a maximum of 20 days for children in restrictive government facilities, but at many children are there far longer—sometimes over a year. The average length is 35 days. Migrant children aren’t even permitted to “give a friend a hug.”

DDT has canceled English classes, recreational programs such as soccer, and legal aid for unaccompanied minors in his migrant “shelters” as of May 22 to blackmail Congress for more funding. The illegal move runs counter to a federal court settlement and state-licensing requirements mandating education and recreation for minors in federal custody.

Last July, 37 migrant children ages 5 to 12 were left in the Texas heat in vans for up to 39 hours while waiting for reunification with their parents. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) expressed outrage, saying, “This is not who we are as Americans.” But government reports prove that it is.

Despite DDT’s “love” for the military, immigrant active service members migrants are denied citizenship at a higher rate than foreign-born civilians.

Last year, an investigation from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discovered that over 500 of their employees were arrested on charges from bribery to domestic abuse in 2016 and 2017. Most of the crimes involved drugs or alcohol. CBP didn’t report the killings of five women by two different border agents in 2018. DHS found that corrupt border agents are so dangerous that they “pose a national security threat,” but the government pays tens of millions of dollars to settle wrongful death lawsuits involving border officials.

A jury is now deliberating in a trial against defendant Scott Warren, 36, in Tucson (AZ), who gave humanitarian aid—food, water, clean clothes, and beds—to two undocumented immigrants in Ajo (AZ). The prosecutors assert that they weren’t in distress and want to put him in prison for 20 years. The government accused Warren of telling the men how to avoid checkpoints because he “pointed north.” Warren volunteers for a humanitarian aid group, No More Deaths, that recovers bodies of migrants and provides water and other aid to the living. 

The International Red Cross code of conduct lists orientation—knowing location—as a basic human right along with food, water and shelter. A normal part of orientation is pointing out immoveable objects in the distance. Prosecutors also accused Warren of conspiring with aid worker Irineo Mujica, but they failed to present Warren’s email to other volunteers to touch base with the Mexican shelter operator before going there. Mujica was not asked about Warren in an interview with border patrol agents. The Border Patrol admits that no one is legally mandated to call police if they know someone is illegally in the U.S.

Arrests and treatment of asylum seekers isn’t the only area in which the United States comes in below countries according to an evaluation in 12 human rights categories from the Human Rights Measurement Initiative. Discrimination and safety from the state, including police shootings, were the other two with “strikingly poor results.” The U.S. scored 4.9 out of 10 in empowerment with three political and civil rights: the right to assembly and association; the right to opinion and expression; and the right to participate in government.

  • Freedom of expression in the U.S. scored 5.2, and people of color are least likely to have the right to participate in government because of voter suppression.
  • In “physical integrity rights”—the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest, disappearance, execution, and torture—the U.S. is only three places behind Saudi Arabia. Lethal force by police against blacks and other people of color puts the U.S. below Mexico and Brazil. The 992nd police shooting resulting in death—that of a man with a gun but not fleeing—occurred on the last day of 2018. Included in this category is also the deaths of children at the southern border and prisoners denied necessary medical care. Eighty percent of the reports’ experts cited the risk of torture for refugees or asylum seekers, especially LGBTQ people seeking protection.
  • Blacks were identified as being vulnerable to abuses of every measured right, and Native Americans were next in having rights violated.

HRMI co-founder Chad Clay said, “On civil and political rights, the United States is the worst performing high-income democracy in our sample.”

A new report shows what I’ve long believed—that privatization costs taxpayers money than government workers. DDT promised to shrink the government; instead he gave his business friends money by paying them to hire people who would do the work for government cheaper. The result is much higher cost and lower accountability. Private businesses get contracts with donations to politicians and then write the rules. In general, private workers outnumber “government” workers three to one.

A prime example of this abuse is private contractors detaining migrants. GEO received $480 million in federal funds, and CoreCivic got over $331 million since DDT was inaugurated. These contractors supposedly saves money for the U.S. with less staff, less training, and less programming—resulting in more abuse, illness, and deaths. The same companies make even more money by using heir “inmates” to carry out forced labor. GEO spent $1.56 million on lobbying in 2018 and contributed $275,000 to DDT’s super PAC Rebuilding America Now in 2016; CoreCivic gave $1.23 million lobying and $378,000 in campaign donations, 93 percent to Republicans, in 2018. 

John Kelly, former chief of staff and DHS director, has joined the board of Caliburn International, parent of the only private company operating migrant shelters. One of its facilities, located in Homestead (FL), is the only shelter not subject to state child-fare inspections. People have observed a number of abusive actions toward children in the facility. The Homestead “shelter” gets $750 a day for each child and currently has about 2,300 young people. (That’s $1,725,000—every day.) The average stay in 2019 is about 89 days. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) pointed out that Kelly is “cashing in” the same “cruel immigration policies” that he promoted and executed. Kelly backed DDT’s “zero tolerance” policy leading to forced separations of migrant children from their parents.

Other private contractors are being hired to transport hundreds of thousands of migrants throughout the United States.

Yes, Rep. Walden, that’s who “Americans” are.

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