Where’s Your Compassion

A man illegally crossed the border with his daughter. The story I found today doesn’t give her age, but I have seen another story saying she’s 14. She was hospitalized for a TB issue, and then it was discovered she was no relation to him, and he’s been raping her. Her mother handed her over to the monster, saying he’d find a job for her in the U.S.

I am not in favor of taking children from their parents without a really good reason. I am in favour of taking children from rapists, whether they are their parents or not. I think if it turns out the parent is a murderer, that’s also a pretty good reason. I recognize that children are deeply traumatized by being taken from their parents. I also recognize that some children are continuously traumatized by remaining with their parents or people posing as such, and that children being brought across the border have often already been deeply traumatized by their parents’ decision to bring them out of their home, country, culture, extended families (and often removing them from siblings and another parent).  The journey itself is fraught with traumatizing experiences:

From Huffpo:
“According to a stunning Fusion investigation, 80 percent of women and girls crossing into the U.S. by way of Mexico are raped during their journey. That’s up from a previous estimate of 60 percent, according to an Amnesty International report.”
The same report says that they know this in advance, so many of the women and girls take birth control pills in advance. So the chances that the children crossing the border unaccompanied or with their mothers have not already been deeply traumatized by that journey itself are pretty much non-existent.

In short, what I wish were reality isn’t reality and isn’t going to be.

I’d like instant DNA tests and dogs that work like drug sniffers, only they sniff out an abused child inerrantly and instantly snuggle up to the child and snarl and snap off the fingers of abusers who come near- these dogs would also have an inerrant ability to recognize abusers on sight. Better still, there’d be no abuse in the world at all.

But we don’t have that world. We have this one, and we have to muddle through the best way we can in the one that we have. In order to deal with the one we have, we have to have clear and accurate facts about it, not hysteria and fake news posing as a ‘metaphor.’
Of the ‘thousands’ of children separated from their parents at the border (closer to 2,000) by Trump (I guess we’re never going to look at Obama’s separations)- 102 were children under 5. I’m not excusing it, but I do think some perspective is in order- 102 children is not the hundreds and hundreds of sobbing toddlers and babies in diapers which the media and Trump haters attempted to paint us a picture of. Certainly the children should have been treated better and certainly Congress needs to fix themselves, but just as certainly, Congress never will because it’s too valuable a tool for both sides.

A judge has ruled that the children must be returned to their parents by a deadline which the government missed, and the judge allowed a slight extension. 52 or 54 of those children are to be reunited by this week if I read the dates correctly (a few articles say 34 kids, but the majority put the number in the low fifties).

Of those 104, 1 can’t be reunited because the child’s parent is planning to live with a known child sex offender. On purpose. Knowing that the person they will live with has a record of sexually abusing minor children. One can’t be reunited because the parents have been missing for a year (so this child was not part of the 2,000 removed at all? IT’s a strange one, I can’t find much more about this one, except that several news stories report it’s possible this child and the child’s parents are legal citizens).

10 cannot be reunited because their parents are incarcerated. They can be reunited when the parents are finished with their sentences, so they are basically like thousands of other American children in foster care while their parents are in jail.

14, FOURTEEN will not be reunited because the adults are either no relation to the children at all, have credible and serious child abuse evidence against them, or have criminal histories of charges like rape, murder, kidnapping.

Over a quarter of the children under 5 cannot or do not need to stay with the adults they crossed the border with. That’s pretty high. For some of the remaining childen, DNA tests and background checks are not yet complete, so that number could be higher.

Of those remaining, for about a dozen, they will be reunited but the timetable is delayed as their parents were already deported, and I find that inexcusable and horrible, just as horrible as the reality that some of these children were being raped to pay for their passage, were being brought in by traffickers posing as parents. I see every reason for DNA testing and criminal background checks, but none for deporting parents without their kids.

In spite of finding out that some of the kids are not related to the person who brought them across the border and cases like the one at the top of this post, where they are being abused and exploited, the judge ordering the reunification has told the Trump administration to drop the DNA tests to expedite the process.

If traffickers and coyotes knew that DNA tests would be part of the crossing process, fewer of them would try it, and I think it’s important to do what we can to deter this exploitation of children.

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