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.



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Dance Party!


 
Spirit lifter from staunch commentor LAMH:

So I’m watching anything else but more political news, and watching some of the MTV Movie/TV Awards…. And this happened:

Chadwick Boseman won for best Hero for Black Panther and he did this:


Chadwick said we should honor real life heroes as well. So he called up James Shaw Jr and gave the award to him and thanked him for his real world heroism!!!

At the same event, Michael B. Jordan also won an award, for playing EriK Killmonger in Black Panther. And said: I’m shocked that I won this award for Best Villain. I thought for sure Roseanne had that in the bag.”

***********
And for a coda, professional vote-suppressor Kris ‘I Too Am Super Racist’ Kobach got told to SIT IN THE DUNCE CORNER, AND FEEL SHAME.
Read more



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!



Peaceful Assembly and Personal Security – Re-upped

I know a number of you all are planning to join one of the various protests, actions, and/or demonstrations that will begin taking place as a result of the President’s family separation policy. So I wanted to re-up the post for anyone that missed it the first several times I posted it. I also saw a tweet, which I can’t find right now, from one of the protesters at the Vice President’s event last week in Ohio who said that the audience assaulted her and other protestors before event security came and escorted them out. So you need to prepare yourself that there may be violence if you protest at this type of event. I would recommend designating one member of your group to begin to record video as soon as the demonstration starts and for that person to do nothing but quietly stand and video events so there is a record and they don’t have to worry about being attacked. And one other person as the dedicated video recording person’s buddy so they can keep their head on a swivel and look out for that person’s wellbeing. Also, stay as close to the perimeter of the event, near an exit, and with your back to a wall if at all possible.

(Originally posted on 18 December 2016)

Congress shall make no law… abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. — Amendment 1, Bill of Rights, US Constitution

One of our readers/commenters emailed me about a week ago and asked if I would put up a post about personal security for those going to peaceably assemble to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. I put a list together and ran it past a select group of our Balloon Juice legal eagles (those I’ve corresponded with before/have corresponded with me, so if you didn’t get asked, don’t be insulted I didn’t want to just impose on you with a cold request) – thank you all for getting back to me. Here’s my list of what I think anyone going to peacefully assemble should do to enhance their personal security.

  1. Go with a buddy, that way you have at least one person looking out for you/watching your back and vice versa.
  2. Carry cash and make sure to carry a valid picture ID!
  3. Bring a pocket flashlight.
  4. Get and wear a go pro that is automatically updating to the cloud.
  5. Bring a pocket charger for your cell phone and go pro regardless of whether it is supposed to be a long day.
  6. Make sure your personal electronic devices all have sufficient password protection and encryption on them. And have them set to upload to the cloud at a regular interval.
  7. Turn off fingerprint access to unlock your phone and delete your finger prints from the memory. Some jurisdictions allow law enforcement to compel you to unlock your phone if it has finger print based access. Or get a disposable phone just for this occasion.
  8. Turn off your phone and other personal electronic devices option to connect to known wifi as it can be used as a way to fail your encryption.
  9. Bring a bandana or neck gaiter and water so you can make a make shift gas mask in case things get out of hand and tear gas or pepper spray is deployed.
  10. Bring a bottle of saline eye rinse in case you need to rinse your eyes out if tear gas or pepper spray is deployed.
  11. Bring plenty of water and some snacks to make sure you’re properly hydrated and you’ve got enough fuel in your system to get through the day.
  12. Dress in layers so you are prepared for the weather and make sure you have good shoes/boots and a change of socks in case they should get wet. A set of silk base layer undersocks is a good idea regardless of the weather. They’ll help keep your feet warm or cool as needed and they’ll provide some protection in case your shoes/boots and socks get wet. And something to keep the back of your neck and your ears warm if you’re going to be someplace cold.
  13. Bring/wear a hat to keep the sun off your head or to keep it warm depending on the weather.
  14. Bring/wear eye protection. Specifically sunglasses that are impact rated. (You should be able to pick up military surplus ones pretty cheap).
  15. Sunscreen, skin moisturizer, and lip balm. Even if its cold you’ll need these.
  16. If you need to take regular/routine prescription medication: bring it in its original container, with the prescription details on the label. If its a gel based application and comes in a packet, make sure you’ve got a hard copy of the prescription with you.
  17. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. You don’t have to be paranoid, but have a sufficient level of situational awareness. If something looks and/or feels hinky or the hair on the back of your neck stands up, head on home or go get a drink or go back to your hotel. Know who and what is around you, keep your valuables in front pockets or in secure/securable purses/bags, and keep those where they can’t be easily snatched or accessed.
  18. Have a contact plan for both linking up and communicating in case one gets separated from anyone you’re with.
  19. Have a contact plan to stay in touch with someone who isn’t at the march, but knows that you’re there and a regular set of contact times.
  20. Have a lawyer you can contact if necessary and that your outside contact could contact if you don’t check in. Make sure you have all of your contact’s phone numbers memorized in case your phone is damaged or taken by law enforcement should the worst happen and you’re arrested.
  21. Bring a sharpie to take down badge numbers if necessary. And if necessary write them on your hand.

Should the worst happen and you get caught up in a peaceable assembly that suddenly turns not so peaceable:

  1. Do not resist law enforcement. Just do what they say, let your arms go limp, and do what you can to avoid a reflex response to resist – that can get you charged with assault on a law enforcement officer.
  2. Be respectful and polite when dealing with the authorities – law enforcement, the National Park Service, whoever.
  3. If you are arrested, ask for a lawyer and then shut up. Do not say anything else or answer any other questions until your lawyer arrives. In fact let the lawyer do the talking.

One last item: some of you probably carry a pocket knife or multitool everywhere. Or everywhere that you’re normally allowed. I would recommend not carrying anything on your possession that could be construed as a concealed weapon or even an openly carried one. Even if you’re in a state/jurisdiction that allows for concealed or open carry of knives and/or other weapons – don’t. Being part of a march or peaceful assembly that turns ugly is not a good time to attempt firearms (or knife) normalization.

Stay Frosty!