Mon 9/10: Hey, the government wants to know what we think of incarcerating little kids indefinitely. Let’s make Mr. Rogers proud and tell them!

Mr. Rogers’ widow says if he were alive he’d speak out about the treatment of undocumented children.(remezcla) It’s our responsibility to do it now in his place.

Action #1 – Write a comment to prevent the indefinite incarceration of immigrant families. Deadline: Nov. 6th

“These places can destroy people.”

We have 57 days left to flood this government rules site with comments protesting the revocation of the Flores Agreement’s 20-day maximum limit for incarcerating children. The government wants to lock up families, including young children, indefinitely, instead of utilizing alternate methodologies to ensure hearing attendence that have been proven effective and humane. Detaining families indefinitely is not the answer for protecting our borders.

Comment here.

Read the entire rule text here.

Read other comments for inspiration here. We’ve included some great comments at the bottom of this post. They don’t have to be long. You can use someone’s comments as a basis, but try to insert your own voice for your comment to be fully counted at the deadline.

Action #2 – Sign this petition

Sign this petition here.

Action #3 – Call your senator to vote “NO” on Kavanaugh – our immigrants will not be safe with him. 

“I’m just a judge. I just follow precedent.” 


He went out of his way to rule against immigrants in his dissent. His legalistic arguments cannot hide his basic disinterest in the health and safety of undocumented workers. If he becomes a Supreme Court judge, he will also get to rule on a variety of immigration issues, including DACA, sanctuary, bond hearings, de-naturalizing citizens, birthright citizenship, and whether or not undocumented children get to go to school (a 5-4 decision in 1982). Yeah, this could rear up again…

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to get Kavanaugh on record as to his views on DACA, sancuary cities/states, family/child incarceration, rights to  bond hearings, undocumented access to public services such as education, and birthright citizenship.

Contact your Senator:
Senator Feinstein: email DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Contacts: https://hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com

Action #4 – Help local DACA recipients tonight!

Volunteer at the latest DACA paperwork renewal clinic. Volunteers need to come at 5:00 for training.  Click here for details.

Action #5 – Work your way through this list of Kavanaugh actions

Click here. Phone scripts and more!

Background

The Trump administration on Thursday said it is seeking to indefinitely jail migrant children with their families. Detaining children for more than 20 days is illegal, but the administration says it will terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement that has governed the detention of migrant children since 1997. Under a proposed rule issued Thursday by the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services, (HHS) the administration said it would issue new regulations that “satisfy the basic purpose” of the Flores settlement. This is a lie.

Detention of children is causing irreparable harm.

I can say with certainty that detention is inflicting emotional, psychological, physical health and neurological harms on these families, particularly the children, and that some of these effects will be long lasting, and very likely permanent as adduced by the scientific literature.” (Luis Zayas, Dean of University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work)

“These places can destroy people.” (guardian) (americanprogress)

It’s also really profitable for the private prison industry, big funders of the Trump presidency.

Detaining immigrants is very profitable for Trump’s big supporters, providing huge windfalls to companies like CoreCivic (CXW) and The Geo Group (GEO), who were previously endangered by Obama’s phase-out of prison privatization. In March, ICE made up 24% of GEO’s third-quarter revenue.  These two companies each contributed a quarter of a million dollars to Trump’s inauguration and are currently spending millions lobbying lawmakers on immigration detention issues, while showering them with campaign cash. In November of 2017, 71 percent of detained immigrants were confined in private detention facilities, at a reported cost of more than $2 billion dollars per year. The 2016 Hamilton Project found no evidence that private prisons are cheaper or more effective for the government, but there is evidence of medical neglect and deaths in their custody.

Effective alternatives, like community supervision and electronic monitoring, are obviously not as profitable for private companies. Losers in this game, immigrants and the American taxpayer.

Why are they coming here anyway?

Why are they coming here? (here)

Reading

  • Let’s ask our MoCs to propose legislation to protect and support these immigrant children.
  • Detaining immigrants is profitable (CNBC)
  • Immigration Detention Data (NIJC)
  • Don’t let Migrant Kids Rot (nytimes)
  • Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh holds dangerous views on immigration (OneAmerica)
  • Locking up more immigrant kids for longer is both inhumane and unnecessary (the hill)

Examples of great comments

More here.

Comment: I am opposed to this proposed rule.

Comment: Do not allow the Trump administration to use these children as political fodder. It’s a disgrace.

Comment: Extended detention of children IS torture. As parents we know it!… As humans we cannot condone it! … As a nation, WE MUST DO BETTER!

Comment: These regulations are worthy of a brutal totalitarian regime, not a democracy. They are a shameful violation of all that this country claims to stand for.

Comment: Please don’t enable the indefinite detention of children in unlicensed family jails or any jails for that matter. We are better than that! We are a country made up of immigrants. How then can we criminalize immigration?

Comment: To indefinitely detain children who have committed no crime is in gross violation of the Constitution of the United States and international human rights laws and standards. To take this action is indefensible and morally reprehensible. This can not be allowed.

Comment: The Department of Homeland Security must drop its proposed new regulations that would allow the government to detain migrant children indefinitely. The 1997 Flores settlement was reached in recognition that minor children, in critical stages of development, must be protected from detention in excess of twenty days. To detain them longer causes them physical and emotional harm and threatens not only their future but ours as a responsible conscientious society.

Comment: This is deeply inhuman and fully deplorable. I absolutely do not agree that my hard earned tax dollars fund the abuse of children and enrich politically well-connected profiteers from human suffering. There have been numerous reports of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse of thousands of children in detention centers. We are going to suffer the consequences of this for decades. Shame on all involved, from the boots-on-the-ground enforcers all the way to the top officials of this administration. Shame! This is not only against existing domestic and international laws, it is against all human decency. History will judge you very harshly.

Comment: No Family deserves this treatment. It has been months and there are still children in detention centers. To a child no matter the age this has to be torture. I am sure they feel betrayed by their parents as well as the American people. It is a crime that this is happening in America. It appears from the outside that absolutely nothing is being done. This will go down in history as a very dark period for our country. I fear that all these children especially the tiniest one will be mentally scarred possibly for life. And it truly breaks my heart that families left their home country because their situation was so terrible that they risked their very lives to come to America to seek asylum and are treated so horribly. America was built on immigration, this is who we are. We are or at least were the greatest country in the world. We have lost our shine and I am ashamed of our government.

Comment: The incarceration of CHILDREN is destructive to their mental health and to their physical health. Yes, the number of children in custody should be changed. It should be changed to ZERO. As a government, when you detain children, you are doing it in my name and I do not consent to the violation of international norms or to the warehousing of the most vulnerable within our borders. The Office of Refugee Resettlement is an Orwellian misnomer when children are actively harmed, denied legal and requested medical care and never resettled. Unless you, reader, are a direct descendant of our First Nations, you are either an immigrant or a descendant of one. Is this how you would wish your children or grandchildren to be “cared for”?
This vicious and slippery slope can only lead back to the experiment of Dr. Mengele on children. NOT IN MY NAME.

Comment: We should not be detaining children at all, much less seeking to detain them for longer periods. This amendment should not seek to lengthen the time migrant children can be detained. If anything, it should shorten it. These children are experiencing extreme trauma, and we should be limiting that as much as possible! My suggestion would be to shorten the window to 14 days.

I also have a problem with the amendment that seeks to limit to whom these children may be released. I’ve seen many stories of parents and legal guardians being deported while their children are kept in a detention facility. This would make it even more difficult for these children to be released into an environment where they can heal from the trauma they are experiencing! My suggestion is not to make this change.

I also have a problem with the change that would eliminate the standing requirement that detention centers submit to state inspections. These detention centers should be held to stricter standards, and should meet care requirements that many daycare centers in the United States are required to meet. That is: a small ration of carers to children, background checks and thorough vetting of who may care for these children, and frequent check-ins with children to make sure they are not being abused!

I just can’t understand why you would want to punish children who are blameless in everything going on! They are physically, mentally, and sexually abused in these facilities! The trauma will stay with them for the rest of their lives! It is immoral and inhumane to punish children as a mere “deterrent” to parents seeking asylum in the United States. We are better than this!

Example: I strongly protest the Trump Administration’s plans to terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement. It typically takes several weeks for asylum seekers to pass a credible fear screening, and they can be detained even after passing such a screening — meaning that the new regulation being proposed by the Administration would ultimately result in families being held for months or possibly even years. The proposed regulations would also allow for the detention of families in facilities that have not been formally approved for licenses, thus reducing standards for care of children and families in immigration detention.  This proposed change imposes unconscionable hardships on all immigrant children and families seeking asylum; people who have committed no crimes and who only seek protection in the United States. It is a grotesque abuse of human rights.

 

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