An ER Pediatrician Explains What She’s Observed Examining Babies Separated from Their Asylum Seeking Parents Who are in Foster Care

Tara Neubrand, MD is a pediatric emergency specialist in Denver. She has recorded her observations of the toddlers separated from their asylum seeking parents and placed into foster care who she has treated. Dr. Jennifer Gunter has posted the letters in her twitter feed.

Click to bring up the different parts of the letters.


Open thread!

Where are the Toddlers and the Girls?

MSNBC’s Jacob Soborrof who has been reporting on site in Texas on this for the better part of the past week repeats the question over and over:

And again:

He has reported on air on MSNBC today that he’s been informed that the news media will be provided by the government with pictures and videos of separated girls and toddlers being held in detention in two days. In the meantime they offered him:

The only reason that the government can’t or won’t provide photographic and documentary evidence immediately and will not allow journalists to take those pictures and make those videos themselves is to control the narrative. They need time to make sure everything looks presentable in the materials they are going to present to the public via the news media. They do not want and cannot afford to have another audiotape like yesterday’s, let alone a videotape, leak out and get published again. It is also why they will not allow Senators and Congressman to tour the facilities without advanced notice. Such as Senator Nelson (D-FL) this morning down at the facility in Homestead, FL.

MSNBC’s Julia Ainsely has reported that not only will it take years to reunite these children with their families, some will never be reunited at all. (emphasis mine)

The former head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told NBC News that migrant parents separated from their children at the border are sometimes unable to relocate their child and remain permanently separated.

Permanent separation. It happens,” said John Sandweg, who served as acting director of ICE under the Obama administration from 2013-2014.

Sandweg’s warning contradicts White House messaging that the separation of women and children migrants under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy is only temporary.

While a parent can quickly move from detention to deportation, a child’s case for asylum or deportation may not be heard by a judge for several years because deporting a child is a lower priority for the courts, Sandweg explained.

“You could easily end up in a situation where the gap between a parent’s deportation and a child’s deportation is years,” Sandweg said.

As a result, parents may find themselves back in their home countries struggling to find their children. Many do not have access to legal counsel or understand the U.S. immigration or judicial systems.

Children who stay in the foster system for lengthy periods of time may become wards of the state and finally adopted.

“You could be creating thousands of immigrant orphans in the U.S. that one day could become eligible for citizenship when they are adopted,” Sandweg explained.

Sandweg says he has seen permanent separation happen when a parent is deported without his or her child.

“This is why family unity was critical for us. With the numbers of families crossing ticking up, [the] Obama administration was concerned about children being left behind,” said Sandweg.

Speaking on Fox News Tuesday, White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp insisted the separations were short term.

“We have come to understand that these families who are separated, it is for a limited period of time between five to ten days,” Schlapp said.

Much more at the link.

Mercedes Schlapp, the daughter of Cubans who sought refuge and asylum in the US after her father was imprisoned and tortured for six years by the Castro government, is a liar and a hypocrite, but we already knew that.

I’ve spent a lot of time working with internally displaced Iraqis, on issues dealing with internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees in the Levant, and with USAID’s Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) officers. No one, not Mercedes Schlapp’s father in fleeing Cuba, nor people fleeing the collapse of the state and society in Guatemala, Honduras, and Venezuela, as well as other places, leaves everything behind, grabs their children, and walks hundreds and thousands of miles overland or traverses the same distances on the ocean, just because they want a chance to earn a few more dollars. The people that take these most desperate of measures, do so because as dangerous as it is, it is less dangerous than staying where they are. And they do so with only these thoughts in mind: at the end of the journey is safety, at the end of the journey is hope, at the end of the journey is the United States!

This was the belief that drove Stephen Miller’s maternal grandparents as related by his maternal uncle (emphasis mine):

“The Glosser family escaped Europe as dirt poor immigrants, joined the community, built businesses, and honestly sold goods to their fellow Johnstowners,” Glosser wrote. “My nephew and I must both reflect long and hard on one awful truth. If in the early 20th century the USA had built a wall against poor desperate ignorant immigrants of a different religion, like the Glossers, all of us would have gone up the crematoria chimneys with the other six million kinsmen whom we can never know.

I’m sure Stephen Miller’s maternal grandparents would be so proud that their grandson grew up to be exactly the kind of person they fled to the United States to get away from!

It was this same belief behind Senator Cruz’s father’s flight to safety from Castro’s Cuba. All so that Senator Cruz, a Latino-Canadian, could grow up to be a white supremacist from Texas! America truly is the land of opportunity…

Leaving the hypocrisy aside, the more important takeaway here is that a significant number of these children will never see their parents again as a result of a decision made by a Republican president. That not a single Republican senator or congressperson will do anything significant to stop. You know, the Republican Party – the party of family values! And given the size and scale of this new policy put in place by the President and Attorney General Sessions at the urging of Stephen Miller, as well as the haste and lack of planning that went into it’s implementation, we should expect that this number will be far, far higher than the failures that former Acting Director Sandweg related.

The simple truth here is that because of the size and scope of the President’s policy of separating children from their parents, significantly more children will never see their parents again. Moreover, because DHS and HHS know they can’t afford to let Americans, including US senators and representatives, see what is actually happening in real time, they are doing everything they can to control access and the flow of information; especially pictures, video, and audio. It reeks not just of covering their asses, but of Theresienstadt. And it should because the size and scope of implementing this policy is way beyond the ability of HHS to implement safely and effectively.

The more children they separate, the more they’re going to rely on contract solutions. I know a lot about contract solutions – I am one. And I can tell you that as they rush to do this in a hurry HHS is going to wind up defaulting to the lowest bidder who can argue effectively that they can provide the contract solution required. Or they’ll award a no bid to one of their existing omnibus contractors. Even if those companies have no idea how to do any of this work. Those companies will then quickly move to hire whoever is willing to do the work, regardless of actual/real qualifications. Instead of hiring a large cohort of social workers and licensed child care professionals and pediatric nurses and kindergarten, primary, and secondary teachers, you’re going to get whatever bodies they can hire, for the minimum amount of pay they can possibly offer, thrown at the problem. Children are going to suffer as a result of this. Beyond just the trauma of being forcibly separated from their parents. Children will suffer from neglect, from negligence. Some of these children will die. All in the name of putting America First in order to Make America Great Again. And so that Stephen Miller can own the libs…

This is going to get much, much worse before it get’s better.

Stay informed. Stay angry.

Open thread.

Here’s Your Plan of Action in Response to the President’s Policy Separating the Children of Asylum Seekers from Their Parents: Protests are Scheduled in DC and Around the Country for 30 June 2018

Walter Shaub has the details:

Here’s our tips for a safe protest experience.

For those looking to donate, there’s RAICES Family Reunification:

Here’s their donation link.

If you’ve got other groups you recommend donating to that are helping with this emergency solely created by the President, his Senior Advisor Stephen Miller, and Attorney General Sessions, please put them in the comments.

Take heart that what everyone is already doing is working. If it wasn’t, Senator Cruz – a Latino Canadian who moved to the US so he could become a white supremacist – wouldn’t be submitting even bad legislation in an attempt to change the subject ahead of the midterm elections.

Does anyone really think that Senator Cruz would be trying to do anything, even something bad that he could spin, if his internal polling for his campaign for reelection wasn’t showing that Congressman Beto O’Rourke wasn’t a serious threat? I expect that Cruz’s campaign polling is showing Beto as a very strong and credible threat. The campaigns’ internal polling in their states and districts, which they never release, is almost always much, much better than any other polling as they know what to ask, how to ask it, and who to sample and survey.

Stay angry, get organized, and get ready to mobilize!

Open thread.

This is the Sound of President Trump’s America

For those unable to listen or unwilling to subject themselves to it, here’s how ProPublica describes the recording (from The Texas Tribune because ProPublica’s server is overwhelmed):

The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know.

The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

Then a distraught but determined 6-year-old Salvadoran girl pleads repeatedly for someone to call her aunt. Just one call, she begs anyone who will listen. She says she’s memorized the phone number, and at one point, rattles it off to a consular representative. “My mommy says that I’ll go with my aunt,” she whimpers, “and that she’ll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible.”

An audio recording obtained by ProPublica adds real-life sounds of suffering to a contentious policy debate that has so far been short on input from those with the most at stake: immigrant children. More than 2,300 of them have been separated from their parents since April, when the Trump administration launched its “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which calls for prosecuting all people who attempt to illegally enter the country and taking away the children they brought with them. More than 100 of those children are under the age of 4. The children are initially held in warehouses, tents or big box stores that have been converted into Border Patrol detention facilities.

Much more at the link.

Given the audio above, Secretary Nielsen is obviously a liar:

Stay angry!

Open thread.

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to Review the DOJ Inspector General’s Report Live Stream

Sorry I got to this a little late, but I was working on something offline. Anyhow, here is the live stream of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing to review the DOJ IG’s report. Testifying before the committee are DOJ IG Horowitz and FBI Director Wray. Things to watch for:

  1. The Republican members of the committee to hammer both Director Wray and IG Horowitz on who should be punished and why they haven’t/aren’t being punished. As well as the Republican members of the committee hammering IG Horowitz about why people connected to the Clinton’s weren’t/aren’t being prosecuted.
  2. The Democratic members of the committee inquiring about why the report doesn’t deal with the reported in the IG report significant anti-Clinton bias and leaks out of the NY Field Office of the FBI during the campaign. Senators Feinstein has already been all over this and Senator Leahy is now asking Director Wray about it.

Open thread!

First Lady Laura Bush Makes a Statement Against the President’s Policy of Separating Children From Their Parents at the Border

First Lady Laura Bush has a very powerful op-ed against the President’s family separation policy in today’s Washington Post.

On Sunday, a day we as a nation set aside to honor fathers and the bonds of family, I was among the millions of Americans who watched images of children who have been torn from their parents. In the six weeks between April 19 and May 31, the Department of Homeland Security has sent nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers or foster care. More than 100 of these children are younger than 4 years old. The reason for these separations is a zero-tolerance policy for their parents, who are accused of illegally crossing our borders.

I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.

Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history. We also know that this treatment inflicts trauma; interned Japanese have been two times as likely to suffer cardiovascular disease or die prematurely than those who were not interned.

Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war. We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We pride ourselves on acceptance. If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.

People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer. I moved away from Washington almost a decade ago, but I know there are good people at all levels of government who can do better to fix this.

Recently, Colleen Kraft, who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics, visited a shelter run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. She reported that while there were beds, toys, crayons, a playground and diaper changes, the people working at the shelter had been instructed not to pick up or touch the children to comfort them. Imagine not being able to pick up a child who is not yet out of diapers.

Twenty-nine years ago, my mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, visited Grandma’s House, a home for children with HIV/AIDS in Washington. Back then, at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the disease was a death sentence, and most babies born with it were considered “untouchables.” During her visit, Barbara — who was the first lady at the time — picked up a fussy, dying baby named Donovan and snuggled him against her shoulder to soothe him. My mother-in-law never viewed her embrace of that fragile child as courageous. She simply saw it as the right thing to do in a world that can be arbitrary, unkind and even cruel. She, who after the death of her 3-year-old daughter knew what it was to lose a child, believed that every child is deserving of human kindness, compassion and love.

In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can.

It is important to remember that the US is a signatory to both the 1961 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 New York Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, as well as the US-Canada Agreement Covering Third-Country Asylum Claims at the Border of 2002 and the Refugee Act (Immigration and Naturalization Act) of 1980. All of these have the force of US law within the United States.

Stay angry!

Open thread!

Russiagate Open Thread: Roger Stone, Back in the Spotlight

Happy Father’s Day, ya mutha– !

MIAMI — One day in late May 2016, Roger Stone — the political dark sorcerer and longtime confidant of Donald Trump — slipped into his Jaguar and headed out to meet a man with a “Make America Great Again” hat and a viscous Russian accent.

The man, who called himself Henry Greenberg, offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton, Trump’s presumptive Democratic opponent in the upcoming presidential election, according to Stone, who spoke about the previously unreported incident in interviews with The Washington Post. Greenberg, who did not reveal the information he claimed to possess, wanted Trump to pay $2 million for the political dirt, Stone said.

“You don’t understand Donald Trump,” Stone recalled saying before rejecting the offer at a restaurant in the Russian-expat magnet of Sunny Isles, Fla. “He doesn’t pay for anything.”

Later, Stone got a text message from Michael Caputo, a Trump campaign communications official who’d arranged the meeting after Greenberg had approached Caputo’s Russian-immigrant business partner.

“How crazy is the Russian?” Caputo wrote, according to a text message reviewed by The Post. Noting that Greenberg wanted “big” money, Stone replied, “waste of time.”

Two years later, the brief sit-down in Florida has resurfaced as part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s sprawling investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, according to Caputo. Caputo said he was asked about the meeting by prosecutors during a sometimes-heated questioning session last month.

Stone and Caputo, who did not previously disclose the meeting to congressional investigators, now say they believe they were the targets of a setup by U.S. law enforcement officials hostile to Trump.

They cite records — independently examined by The Post — showing that the man who approached Stone is actually a Russian national who has claimed to work as an FBI informant.

Interviews and additional documents show that Greenberg has at times used the name Henry Oknyansky. Under that name, he claimed in a 2015 court filing related to his immigration status that he had provided information to the FBI for 17 years. He attached records showing that the government had granted him special permission to enter the United States because his presence represented a “significant public benefit.”

There is no evidence that Greenberg was working with the FBI in his interactions with Stone, and in his court filing, Greenberg said he had stopped his FBI cooperation sometime after 2013.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Mueller’s office.

The meeting took place two months earlier than federal officials have said a counterintelligence operation was officially opened and before WikiLeaks began releasing hacked Democratic emails…

There were so many Russian assets falling out of the trees, looking to help us! Who can remember every single dodgy contact among them?!?

Yes, I’m looking forward to Adam’s thoughts on this revelation, too.

At least Rudy isn’t far enough gone that he tries to claim Stone was just some short-term volunteer who’d barely even met the candidate… yet: