Where Are The Children?

Image for post
Image for post

Immigration Enforcement agents have lost track of nearly 1500 children in their custody.

1475 of them to be exact.

Since January, ICE has taken in well over 7600 migrant children, of which more than 700 were separated from their parents.

As the child of immigrants, immigration policy is something I’ve always been aware of. Especially now under this administration and all of it’s mean comments and dog-whistled rhetoric.

I started paying real close attention after Jeff Sessions' announcement on May 7th., where he clearly announced ICE would be separating children from their migrant parents upon entering the United States.

His announcement came as no surprise as this is something ICE has been doing for quite some time. In fact, they have done this for years.

However, under the Trump Administration (and with the guidance of well known racist Stephen Miller) they have taken this to a whole new level.

Jeff Sessions, John Kelly, and several others have stated publicly that they would use these separations as a deterrent to convince migrants to stop coming to the United States.

They are living up to that promise.

While I and many others have been watching this all play out, we have also been keeping track of data and researching what has actually been happening to migrants as a result of these hateful policies.

It has been sobering to say the least.

When the New York Times story broke a few days ago, we knew what it was about just by reading the headline.

It’s a story many of us have been trying to draw attention to for quite some time. But we never thought the number of lost children would be so high.

At least I didn’t.

ICE separates these children from their parents amid screams and cries with a complete and total lack of empathy or compassion.

Children are then processed through immigration courts without a legal guardian or proper legal representation.

Kids that are so young they can not declare their country of origin. Who can not explain where their parents are.

Kids who are then treated as parentless children and placed in what ICE refers to as “sponsored homes.”

When asked about their ability to lose so many children, the response was that ICE is no longer responsible for them once they are placed in a sponsored home.

It’s almost unbelievable.

But under this administration filled with bigots and racists it’s also not surprising. I mean, how else would you expect known white supremacists to act?

This is what happens when you give racists power in America.

I digress.

One of the reasons people like me started looking into this was because of the story of a man who migrated to the United States with his 18 month-old daughter seeking asylum.

Upon being deported he asked about his daughter, to which ICE informed him that they did not know where she was.

It was then that many of us started trying to find out how much of a common occurrence this was. As it turns out, it’s as common as it is disturbing.

While Trump (who I refer to as #DOPUS) took to Twitter and blamed Democrats for these policies and continued to equate all migrants, especially children, with MS-13, we were not to be deterred.

Let’s not mince words here, Trump owns these policies and we need to hold him and his administration to account.

What’s happening right now is a direct result of his hateful policies aimed at people of color (POC). His administration is attacking all non-white Americans and migrants on many fronts.

But this. This is an atrocity.

Losing 1500 children is arguably one of the worst things to come from Trump’s administration so far.

There are so many questions, and we need to demand answers for them.

How do we know these kids haven’t been sold to sex traffickers?

Will ICE ever be able to locate these children?

Do they even care about reuniting families?

Do they even care at all?

Does Trump care enough to put a stop to this?

I guess it all boils down to that final question, doesn’t it? The answer to that is a disturbing NO.

Because he doesn’t.

None of them do.

Not Trump, his supporters, or anyone on his staff. They are the ones responsible for this.

ALL OF THEM.

Every single one them will start to spin some bullshit, with his supporters being the most ignorant spinsters of all.

Look, remember PizzaGate?

Remember the outrage from the right when they thought little blond haired children were being sold off to sex traffickers? Remember how that story was a complete fabrication based on nothing?

Well, this is very real. Except this time they’re Brown children. This time it needs to be taken seriously. We have to do something.

Folks, I don’t expect Trump’s bigoted base to care about any of this. But what of the rest of the United States of America?

The majority. You and I.

What are we going to do?

We start with demanding accountability and finding these children. To reunite them with their families. If they get deported or accepted into America, they need to be together as a family.

Furthermore, we need to demand that ICE house migrant families together and make accommodations accordingly.

We are the richest and most powerful Nation in the world and we need to stand for the human rights of all people, including migrants, and set an example for everyone else.

Otherwise, we’re just a shithole nation, aren’t we?

SHOUTOUTS:

To my nearly 4,000 Twitter followers who came through when I and several others asked for their help in bringing attention to this and thus the #WhereAreTheChildren hashtag was born.

To Shaun King, Chris Hayes and Joy-Ann Reid at MSNBC, Black Lives Matter, The New York Times, and everyone who retweeted, shared, spoke up, and brought this very important story out in the open.

I love you all.

Written by

Anti-racist activist, essayist, and upcoming author; advocating for equality, justice, and accountability. Support my work at patreon.com/ExtremeArturo

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store