The Rights of “Missing” Immigrant Children in America

Babies as Bargaining Chips

When you hold a baby in your arms for the very first time, overfilled with the power of love, naturally your mind and body is focused (but mindful) on how to protect that precious and delicate living being. A civilized society must do and feel the same way about all the voiceless babies and children in her care. But in reality this rational thought is foreign to the so-called Western civilizations.

In the U.S., the unsettling news of “1500 missing immigrant children” is alarming to American families. Amy Wang of The Washington Post reports that:

“During a Senate committee hearing late last month, Steven Wagner, an official with the Department of Health and Human Services, testified that the federal agency had lost track of 1,475 children who had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border…”. 

Already this troubling issue has turned to another talking point for the TV pundits in America which casually discuss the matter without real interest. Most “officials” are mute and some blame the children who “unaccompanied by adults” had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border on their own! They down play the bad news and claim that their abusive behavior against asylum seekers is “legal”. However they are in contrary to International law. The Non-discrimination article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of United Nations clearly states that protection of all children without exception is the governments’ obligation. It reads:

“… every child within a State’s jurisdiction holds all CRC Rights without regard to citizenship, immigration status or any other status. Refugee children, asylum seekers, and rejected asylum seekers are entitled to all the rights of the CRC.”

The “missing” children case is not an exceptional incident, when the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a tyrannous tone warns: “If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border” signifies the dark side of fanatics who are in charge of the “Law of the Land” today.  This should be expected when a group of people constantly are demonized by the “most powerful man” in the U.S. and directly or indirectly are compared to animals. Of course the babies of these “animals” would have no human value for a fascistic minded President and his Attorney General appointee. Sadly, for the narrow-minded politicians, the innocent children of the asylum seekers simply are bargaining chips.

Over all, Mr. Sessions’ warning and the mystery of “missing children” are part of a dangerous shift in the U.S. governance toward an autocracy and undemocratic policies. The new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Gina Haspel (during her nomination hearing) was unapologetic for her role using enhanced interrogation techniques and boldly refused to acknowledge that torture is immoral. In other words, indirectly Mr. Trump’s nominee told the policymakers that their morality is outdated!

The Democrats and Republicans while are blaming each other for the “wrong” immigration policies, in fact are in agreement to slowly enforce their anti-democratic plots against the American people for the sake of “National Security”.  When it comes to the question of undocumented families and their children, both parties have horrible records. During a 2014 CNN interview, Ms. Hillary Clinton said: “We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay” , “So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey” (Greg Price, Newsweek – 9/8/2017).

We shouldn’t be surprised if the insane Internment Camps idea of  General Wesley Clark would be implemented in this fearful political environment. In 2014, General Clark in an interview with MSNBC said: “If these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States… it’s our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.”* Today, the undocumented immigrants, the asylum seeker and children are treated in inhuman detention centers. ACLU “obtains documents showing widespread abuse of child immigrants in U.S. custody.” Also they have reported detailed instances of holding children past the three-day maximum detainment period. CNN report “Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez traveled 1,500 miles to the United States, hoping to find a job and a better future. Shortly after she set foot in Texas, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed her …” on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018. Claudia was 20 years old and from Guatemala.

For decades, the heartless narrow-minded politicians in the “civilized” countries through their unnecessary but devastating and deadly wars have been and still are responsible for the death of thousands of children. According to the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, since the start of war in 2015 “In Yemen, a total of at least 1,340 children were killed or maimed.” The children in war torn cities of Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Palestine and other places suffer the same misery and some share the same frightening death toll number as children in Yemen. Now these atrocities against children are being committed closer to home, near our borders.

But history teaches us the atrocities no matter how grotesque they might be -soon or later- will end by the actions of determined and democratic-minded people. Peace and Justice Activists, Immigrant Advocacy Organizations, Teachers and Students, Workers and Farmers, Progressive Attorneys and Caring Parents must organize and demand:

– End the Inhumane Treatments of the Undocumented and Asylum Seekers and Their Children Now!

– Find Our 1500 “Missing” Children Now and Bring the High Level Responsible People to Justice!

– End the Abusive, Uncivilized Treatment of Women and Children in the Brutal ICE Detention Centers!

– Stop Breaking Up Vulnerable Undocumented Families!

Massoud Nayeri is a graphic designer and an independent peace activist based in the United States. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Note:

* “General Wesley Clark Calls for Putting ‘Disloyal’ Americans in Internment Camps” by Thomas Gaist – World Socialist Web Site. Reprinted by Global Research, July 21, 2015


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Articles by: Massoud Nayeri

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