I want you to listen to this recording. It’s seven-and-a-half minutes long, but I doubt many people could bear the full length. This recording, made and released by Pro Publica, contains the cries of children, separated from their parents and thrown in cages by U.S. government agents. Again and again they cry for their mothers and fathers, the adults they trust, for comfort. But their mothers and fathers won’t come to comfort them, because the U.S. government has thrown them in other cages. The former head of ICE sayssome of these children will never see their parents again.

Listen to this audio, and answer a question for me:

Is America Great Again?

There is no law, state or federal, that requires undocumented immigrant families to be divided. The President claims there is, but that is a lie. Even his administration officials know it’s a lie — you can watch Attorney General Jeff Sessions, just a few weeks ago, boasting about the tough new policy separating detained parents from their children.

In Texas, federal officials stole an infant from a mother while she was breastfeeding, and then handcuffed her when she protested. Another woman, an ACLU client, reports the government has kept her from her son for eight months. Another family, also in Texas, has not seen their 8-month old baby in 4 months, except via Skype. The child’s father was deported, but the child has now spent half of its life in custody of federal immigration officials.

It is not a crime to seek asylum —in fact, the right to seek asylum is protected under international law, affirmed multiple times in the 20th century by the United Nations, and further protected in the United States by federal law. And yet the Trump administration has established a new policy that prosecutes every person who seeks asylum as a criminal. They say this is not a new policy, but that is a lie.

Is America Great Again?

Numerous members of the Trump Administration have stated that the new policy is intended to deter people from coming to seek asylum in the United States. The President himself denies this, but he also declares that the United States will not become a “migrant camp” or “refugee holding facility,” and describes immigrants as “infesting” our country.

The President blames the Democrats, again lying about existing law, but also says he will not release the children unless he gets funding for his border wall. That’s the one Mexico was going to pay for, according to Trump the candidate. Maybe he meant with the blood of their children? But I digress.

Meanwhile, ICE officials have been kidnapping children from their parents by lying that they were “taking the children away for baths,” which is, you know, the same thing guards at concentration camps told Jewish people to get them into gas chambers. This, while Trump tweets racist fears about how immigration in Europe “changed the culture,” virtually paraphrasing the “14 words” used as a slogan by the neo-Nazi movement.

The rhetoric has become so bad, the policy so ugly, that the Attorney General had to appear on Fox News to try and point out ways current U.S. policy is different from that of Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find any.

I ask you: Is America Great Again?

It’s an honest question, not just rhetoric. I genuinely want an answer. Because I want to know if the people who put Trump in the White House — and 55 percent of Republican voters apparently say they support this policy — consider this great. I want to be clear, so we don’t hear in the future about how ICE agents were “just following orders,” or how voters didn’t know who they were electing.

This is, after all, the same Donald Trump who spent $85,000 in 1989 to demand the execution of five innocent children.

Is this great? Children, locked in cages on bare floors beneath lights that never go out, crying for comfort from parents they may never see again? Children,stripped of their belts and shoelaces so they can’t commit suicide, before being locked away like criminals? A U.S. government that receives applications for political asylum not with compassion or respect for human dignity, but with the kinds of human rights abuses that draw condemnation from Amnesty International, the Mormon Church, former First Lady Laura Bush, and the UN Human Rights Commissioner?

Is this what you wanted? Is this who you’d like us to be? Is this the America you envisioned when you cast your ballot?

Is this what you voted for?

Is America Great Again?


The photo in the header is from pexels.com and used with permission under Creative Commons license. Please note it is NOT an image of a migrant child currently detained under U.S. policy; my intent is not to deceive, but to avoid using images without permission of copyright holders or violating the privacy rights of minors.

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