The Measure Of A Nation: How It Treats The Weak

Donald Trump
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Pediatricians ‘stunned and shaken’ as Trump uses tear gas on infants

The American Academy of Pediatrics officially opposes using tear gas on infants and toddlers, in a rebuke of the Trump administration. Pediatricians slammed the Trump administration for their “inhumane treatment” of infants and toddlers after news reports of tear gas being used against children and families.

 

“Immigrant children are still children, and they deserve our compassion and assistance,” the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in a statement. “We will continue to speak out against their inhumane treatment and advocate for their safety.”

The AAP represents 67,000 pediatricians dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. The group was “stunned and shaken” at images of families with young children, many of whom are seeking asylum, on the receiving end of U.S.-launched tear gas.

Using chemical weapons against infants and toddlers in diapers “goes against evidence-based recommendations, and threatens their short and long-term health,” the group says.

Children are smaller and breathe more rapidly than adults, which combines to “magnif[y] the harm of agents such as tear gas,” the AAP says, explaining the science behind their objection to the Trump administration’s attack on children.

In addition to the physical harm, the AAP is worried about the psychological ramifications of Trump’s xenophobic anti-immigrant stance.

“Many of these children are fleeing conditions that threaten their health and safety; they have taken harrowing journeys to seek refuge in our country,” the group says. “Our government must take extra precautions when it comes to children.”

Unfortunately, the Trump administration has shown a callous disregard for the well-being of children.

Over the summer, Trump’s anti-immigrant deterrence plan consisted of ripping children away from their families for weeks and even months. Even though the administration knew of the potential harms, Trump pressed forward with the family separation policy anyway.

Unlike the Trump administration, the AAP “recommends that all immigrant children and families seeking safe haven are treated with dignity and respect to protect their health and well-being.”

Using tear gas on children shocks the conscience, and Trump’s regime needs to listen to pleas of pediatricians and stop these inhumane activities.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

Call Them By Their Right Name: Asylum Seekers, Not A Caravan

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No Troops Needed, As We All Know

Bulletin: All U.S. troops deployed to the border should be allowed to go home to have Thanksgiving with their families. Everything is OK at the border. 

International law recognizes the rights of those fleeing from threats to their lives to be granted asylum in other countries. We have border patrols and U.S. Immigration officials to make sure that those entering our country are, indeed, fleeing for their lives and to sift out any “very, very bad people” as our President calls all of the asylum seekers – women, men, and children.

Noam Chomsky, world-renowned linguist and professor at MIT for 50 years and now teaching at the University of Arizona, explains that those making their way to the border are refugees entitled to asylum and not a national threat. 

They are poor and miserable people fleeing from severe oppression, violence, terror, extreme poverty from three countries: Honduras—mainly Honduras, secondarily Guatemala, thirdly El Salvador—not Nicaragua, incidentally—three countries that have been under harsh U.S. domination, way back, but particularly since the 1980s, when Reagan’s terror wars devastated particularly El Salvador and Guatemala, secondarily Honduras. Nicaragua was attacked by Reagan, of course, but Nicaragua was the one country which had an army to defend the population. In the other countries, the army were the state terrorists, backed by the United States.

The most extreme source of migrants right now is Honduras. Why Honduras? Well, it was always bitterly oppressed. But in 2009, Honduras had a mildly reformist president, Mel Zelaya. The Honduran powerful, rich elite couldn’t tolerate that. A military coup took place, expelled him from the country. It was harshly condemned all through the hemisphere, with one notable exception: the United States. The Obama administration refused to call it a military coup, because if they had, they would have been compelled by law to withdraw military funding from the military regime, which was imposing a regime of brutal terror. Honduras became the murder capital of the world. A fraudulent election took place under the military junta—again, harshly condemned all over the hemisphere, most of the world, but not by the United States. The Obama administration praised Honduras for carrying out an election, moving towards democracy and so on. Now people are fleeing from the misery and horrors for which we are responsible.

And you have this incredible charade taking place, which the world is looking at with utter astonishment: Poor, miserable people, families, mothers, children, fleeing from terror and repression, for which we are responsible, and in reaction, they’re sending thousands of troops to the border. The troops being sent to the border outnumber the children who are fleeing. And with a remarkable PR campaign, they’re frightening much of the country into believing that we’re just on the verge of an invasion by, you know, Middle Eastern terrorists funded by George Soros, so on and so forth.

I mean, it’s all kind of reminiscent of something that happened 30 years ago. You may recall, in 1985, Ronald Reagan strapped on his cowboy boots and called—got in front of television, called a national emergency, because the Nicaraguan army was two days’ march from Harlingen, Texas, just about to overwhelm and destroy us. And it worked.

I mean, this spectacle is almost indescribable. Even apart from noticing where they’re coming from, the countries that we have crucially been involved in destroying, it’s—the ability to carry this off repeatedly is quite an amazing commentary on much of the popular culture.

 

Is The Answer Racism?

Is it because the children are brown that we can, somehow, live with the fact that our government is responsible for 559 children being without their parents, responsible for 559 children without any sense of security?

is it because the 46 parentless children under five years old are not white that we go about our daily lives and don’t knock down the doors of all our elected officials and demand that those little ones be immediately, before sundown, reunited with their families?

I’m just asking.

The Count: 559 Children Without Families

Today, there are still 559 children whom the U.S. has forcefully separated from their parents, The U.S. governments also has deported the parents of 386 of these children.

What will become of these traumatized children?

No one knows.

What can we do?

1, Support the ACLU as it fights in court for the rights of these children who came here with their parents seeking asylum.

2. Speak up about the injustice our government is doing to these children in our name.

3. Vote out politicians who side with the man (Donald Trump) responsible for children awake at night, staring into the dark and having no idea where their parents are and no explanation for all that is familiar to them going away.

If The Government Was Successful, Why Are Children Still In Cages?

July 26th was the date that the U.S. government, our government, was under court order to return to their parents the 2551 children it had taken from their parents. The government declared itself a success. But it was not.

Currently, 757 children are still being held without their parents, held in our name by our government. Forty-six of those children are under the age of 5.

Here is my prayer for those children, for their parents, and for all of us:

FOR THE CHILDREN

Teresa of Avila, a Christian mystic, prayed, “Hover over me, O God.”

Today we pray the same: Hover over us, O God.

Hover, O God, over the 46 children under five years old whose parents have been taken from them and who do not know where their parents are.

Hover, O God, over the 711 children between the ages of 5-17 whose parents have been taken from them and who do not know where their parents are.

Hover, O God, over the parents who, without knowing English or being able to read and write, have been coerced, against their will, into signing away their children.

Hover, O God, over traumatized little children under five who do not recognize their parents when reunited with them or are in fear that their parents will disappear again.

Hover, O God, over the 463 parents, who have been deported and don’t have access to legal services that would help them to locate their children in this country.

Hover, O God, over the 12 children under five years old whose parents have been deported.

Hover, O God, over the children who will need therapy for their trauma, need to be clothed and fed, and need to be educated as they are raised by U.S. social services.

Hover, O God, over the parents and children who have been reunited in the middle of the night in unfamiliar locations and given ankle bracelets but no legal guidance.

Hover, O God, over our legislators so that they recognize that the long-term solution to this immigration problem is an economic one for Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador and seek to address that root problem.

Hover, O God, over our Justice Department so that it updates antiquated criteria for humanitarian admission to our country and the antiquated definition of a refugee.

Hover, O God, over us whose hearts are breaking for these children and who are joining with others to find ways to tear down the walls of prejudice and indifference and to live out America’s promise of being a City on the Hill, a place of compassionate refuge.

 

Most Of All: A Prayer For The Children

I was asked to speak at an interfaith prayer service on July 26th. A court order demanded that all 2551 children separated from their parents at the border be reunited with them by that date. It did not happen. At 6:00 PM on July 26th, the prayers were led by seven different speakers. The speakers were Jews, Muslims, and Christians. This was my prayer:

FOR THE CHILDREN

Teresa of Avila, a Christian mystic, prayed, “Hover over me, O God.

Tonight we pray the same: Hover over us, O God.

Hover, O God, over the 45 children under five years old who do not know where their parents are.

Hover, O God, over approximately 1,000 children between the ages of 5-17 who still do not know where their parents are.

Hover, O God, over the parents as they, without the English language or the ability to read and write, have been coerced into signing away their children.

Hover, O God, over those traumatized little children of two and three who do not recognize their parents when reunited with them.

Hover, O God, over the approximately 463 parents, who have been deported and do not have access to legal services that would help them to locate their children in this country.

Hover, O God, over the 12 little children under five years old whose parents have been deported.

Hover, O God, over the children who will need therapy for their trauma of abandonment, need to be clothed and fed, and need to be educated as they are raised by U.S. social services.

Hover, O God, over the parents and children who are reunited in the dark of the night in unfamiliar locations and given ankle bracelets but no help or legal guidance.

Hover, O God, over our legislators so that they recognize that the long-term solution to this immigration problem is an economic one for Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador and seek to address that root problem.

Hover, O God, over our Justice Department so that it updates the antiquated criteria for humanitarian admission to our country and the antiquated definition of a refugee.

Hover, O God, over us whose hearts are breaking for these children and are here tonight to join with others in finding ways to tear down the walls of prejudice and indifference and to live out America’s promise of being the City on the Hill, the place of compassionate refuge.

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