The Pandemic and Immigrant Children
How government policies put more lives at risk than COVID-19
Few people should be surprised that while the Coronavirus ravages the nation, “opening” the country for business has become Donald Trump’s main concern, above saving lives or avoiding the spread of the deadly virus.
Amazingly, compassion, human solidarity or even justice are completely foreign concepts for the president of the most powerful nation on Earth.
As if further proof of his inhumanity was needed, for the several years the Trump administration has held, away from their parents, tens of thousands of migrant children in detention camps, where many were physically abused and sexually assaulted.
The following was reported last November by Al Jazeera: “…new government data shows (there was) an unprecedented 69,550 migrant children held in US government custody over the past year (2019)- enough infants, toddlers, kids and teens to overflow the typical professional American football stadium, according to a joint investigation by The Associated Press and the PBS series, Frontline. That is more children held away from their parents than in any other country, according to United Nations researchers. And it is happening even though the US government has acknowledged that being held in detention can be traumatic for children, putting them at risk of long-term physical and emotional damage.”
The pandemic, of course, adds a new horror to the lives of the more than 6,000children currently in immigration custody, since it is clear no one is immune to a virus that has killed or infected many thousands of people of all ages.
Actually, as reported by the New York Times, two weeks ago, four children in an immigration detention center in the New York area and seven employees of the Office of Refugee who work in children’s detention facilities in New Jersey and Texas tested positive for the virus.
Last month Judge Dolly M. Gee of the United States District Court, in Los Angeles ordered the government to “make continuous efforts” to release children from custody. But don’t forget that previous court orders favoring the children have been shamefully resisted by the Trump administration.