Sunday, May 27, 2018

ICE Turned Children over to Human Traffickers

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Will Bunch: Daily Kos,
On Jacinto’s wrist was the yellow bracelet that, the newspaper reported, federal authorities have begun using to mark mothers and fathers who’ve been forcibly separated from their kids under the heartless program that the so-called Justice Department has named Operation Streamline — bland Orwellian doublespeak to mask a human-rights outrage. It was just a decade ago that a yellow bracelet meant support for humanitarian causes like fighting cancer. Now, it’s a symbol of a cancer on the American spirit, led by a president and his top aides who dehumanize migrants and now terrorize their families, fueled by cynical demagogic politics and a dollop of old-time prejudice. [...]

[L]ast month top officials in the department made a stunning admission to a federal hearing: When officials tried to follow up from October through December of 2017 on the whereabouts of roughly 7.500 kids the federal government had placed with sponsors, it was unable to find out what happened to 1,475 of them, or roughly one in five. These children didn’t just disappear. The supposed adults of the U.S. government lost them.
On CNN, paid commenter Rick Santorum dismissed the reports, calling it "hyperbole to try to create an issue where I don't really think there is one."
Now, the reality is a lot of these sponsors are in many cases have -- they've been checked out but they may have other reasons for not communicating or dropping off the system. So this isn't what we've lost these kids. No, they were placed in vetted homes and for some reason or another these parents are not communicating [...]
Of import in the debate over whether 1,475 missing children is issue or mere hyperbole is the agency's past record of child placements. In 2016, the Senate found that some of the unaccompanied children handed off to sponsor homes by ICE had in fact been turned over to human traffickers.
found that “over a period of four months in 2014, however, HHS placed a number of UACs [Unaccompanied Alien Children] in the hands of a ring of human traffickers who forced them to work on egg farms in and around Marion, Ohio, leading to a July 2015 federal criminal indictment. According to the indictment, the minor victims were forced to work at egg farms in Marion and other location for six or seven days a week, twelve hours per day.”
The Trump administration has now ordered that all children be separated from their parents upon apprehension by ICE, a move intended as deterrent to families that cross the border without proper papers.

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