“Under cover of darkness and in the custody of the federal government, migrant children have been coming in waves to New York, taken from their parents after crossing the southern border.
Even as President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday ending his administration’s policy of separating parents and children who have illegally crossed the border, the crisis was already spreading to a city some 2,000 miles away.
Speaking outside Cayuga Centers in Harlem, one of a group of social service agencies in the state that contract with the federal government to take in unaccompanied minors, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday afternoon said 350 children had come through the center and that 239 of them were currently in Cayuga’s care; the agency is not residential, but places children in temporary foster care and runs day programs.
The children included a 9-year-old boy from Honduras who had come alone on a bus from Texas, and a child as young as 9 months old, Mr. de Blasio said, as he issued a scathing rebuke of the Trump administration.
“How is it possible that none of us knew that there were 239 kids right here in our own city?” he asked. “How is the federal government holding back that information from the people of this city and holding back the help these kids could need?”..
“There is no system whatsoever to track these family separations, no efforts systematically to reunite these families,” Mr. Enriquez said. “There is no supervisor, there is no database saying, ‘child here, parent there,’ so they can come back together.” (A)
A social services agency located in southern New Jersey has received 20 immigrant children within the past month, according to a new report from NJ.com. The shelter, called the Center for Family Services, now holds a total of 27 children, with three being victims of the Trump administration’s recently halted policy of separating families at the border.
The center has a contract for $4 million with the Department of Health and Human Services to house the children. On average, children passing through the Center for Family Services stay 30 days, after which they are hopefully reunited with family members in the area. Prior to the Trump administration’s implementation of a policy prosecuting all illegal entries and breaking up migrant families, the center housed minors who had crossed the border unaccompanied.
Jen Hammill, the associate vice president of development and public relations for the agency, told NorthJersey.com: “These children have needed a safe place to live while teams are working on family reunification, and we are providing that safe home as we do for any child who comes to us who is vulnerable, who is disadvantaged, who needs a safe place to live while we work on family reunification.” (B)
“Frankly, our expectation is nothing different is going to happen for the kids” compared to before Trump’s executive order, said Kay Bellor, the vice president of programs at the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services,..
For now, foster care programs plan to continue taking care of these kids (the Department of Health and Human Services stipulates unaccompanied children must be transferred to foster homes or shelters funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement within 72 hours). Caring for those children means finding members of their families already based in the U.S., temporary foster parents or counseling them in shelters with other children…
Keeping business as usual isn’t so easy. Some non-profit, faith-based foster care organizations — funded through the Office of Refugee Resettlement — struggled to keep up with the influx of children and found themselves adjusting to accommodate for younger, traumatized children.”
“You can’t just turn the spicket on and suddenly have 80 new foster parents,” Bellor, of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, said. “It’s not like if we can build capacity we can build it overnight.”..
… “Our foster care programs are having to respond to that immediate trauma of separation on top of everything else before they can move on to case management and other needs,”.. (C)
“A system designed for abused and neglected kids now must handle thousands who have been forcibly separated from their parents…
Today, the American foster care system is bracing for an influx of children whose lives have been disrupted by the Trump administration itself. According to a Monday report from the Washington Examiner, approximately 250 migrant children are being taken from their parents or guardians per day as a result of Trump’s new family separation policy. If that trend continues, as officials expect it to, around 30,000 children would be in the government’s custody by August. That figure doesn’t include the thousands of minors who show up at the border without a guardian every month, a number that has increased significantly in 2018…
But the foster care system is already struggling to provide stable living situations for the 500,000 children who need assistance. The number of kids entering the system has increased every year for the last four years, but there hasn’t been a concomitant increase in social workers to help them and group homes or families willing to take them in. “American foster care,” the Post reported last year, “is in crisis.”.. (D)
“Children held at Shiloh Treatment Center, a government contractor south of Houston that houses immigrant minors, described being held down and injected, according to the federal court filings. The lawsuit alleges that children were told they would not be released or see their parents unless they took medication and that they only were receiving vitamins…
An investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that nearly half of the $3.4 billion paid to those companies in the last four years went to homes with serious allegations of mistreating children. In nearly all cases reviewed by Reveal, the federal government continued contracts with the companies after serious allegations were raised.
At Reveal’s request, forensic psychiatrist Mark. J. Mills assessed materials from 420 pages of children’s medical records and statements filed in California federal court this April.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist here; it looks like they’re trying to control agitation and aggressive behavior with antipsychotic drugs,” said Mills, who practices in the Washington, D.C., area and was an expert witness for a lawsuit that in 2008 stopped the federal government from forcibly administering antipsychotic drugs to deportees.” (E)
“The fear of family separation is nothing new for many immigrants already living in the U.S. In fact, that fear, heightened in recent weeks, has been forcing a tough decision for a while. Advocates say a growing number of American children are dropping out of Medicaid and other government programs because their parents are not citizens.
Marlene is an undocumented resident of Texas and has two children who are U.S. citizens who qualify for Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income people. (Kaiser Health News is not using Marlene’s last name because of her immigration status.) One of her children has some disabilities.
“My son is receiving speech therapy,” she said in Spanish. “But it’s been difficult.”
..Because she’s undocumented, she’s extremely nervous about filling out applications for government programs like this.
Already, she has decided to stop receiving food stamps, now known as SNAP, which her children, as citizens, are entitled to based on the family’s income…
“It’s out of fear of deportation,” … “It’s out of fear of having their children being penalized in some way and potentially losing a parent that until this point has been their fierce advocate.”..
Approximately 10 million citizen children in the U.S. have at least one non-citizen parent.” (F)
“The reality on the southern U.S. border was so difficult to reconcile with Americans’ vision of themselves that Trump did not even make the effort. The President’s first mention of the order to separate children from their parents was a May 26 Twitter post calling it “horrible” even though he had personally authorized it. Three weeks later, his motives were fully in the open: by driving attention to the border, his signature campaign issue, Trump aimed to force a vote on his long-promised border wall before midterm elections can undo the GOP majority in Congress…
Which leaves us facing a question: What kind of country are we? The world has been nervously asking that since November 2016. And while Trump ultimately capitulated on the forced separation of children, his new order suggested that families would be detained not only together, but perhaps indefinitely. For many Americans, the forced separation of immigrant families left them looking into the void from which the brutal policy emerged: the dark space left by the words Trump does say…
“Without a Border, you don’t have a Country,” the President wrote on June 19. Everyone knows that. The question is, what kind of country? (G)
“Pope Francis has criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying populism is not the answer to the world’s immigration problems.
Speaking to Reuters, the Pope said he supported recent statements by U.S. Catholic bishops who called the separation of children from their parents “contrary to our Catholic values” and “immoral.”
“It’s not easy, but populism is not the solution,” Francis said on Sunday night…
One of his most pointed messages concerned President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, in which U.S. authorities plan to criminally prosecute all immigrants caught crossing the Mexican border illegally, holding adults in jail while their children are sent to government shelters…
The pope said populists were “creating psychosis” on the issue of immigration, even as aging societies like Europe faced “a great demographic winter” and needed more immigrants.
Without immigration, he added, Europe “will become empty.”” . (H)
American Airlines and United Airlines said Wednesday that they asked the Trump administration not to use their flights to carry migrant children who were separated from their parents by immigration authorities.
Facing growing opposition to his administration’s recent policy of separating migrant families, President Donald Trump signed an order later in the day to keep families together at the nation’s southern border.
The issue had galvanized flight attendants, some of whom took to social media to post young children on flights whom they believed to be migrants separated from their parents.
“We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it,” American said in a statement.
United then issued a statement in which CEO Oscar Munoz said the company’s purpose is to connect people. “This policy and its impact on thousands of children is in deep conflict with that mission and we want no part of it,” he said.” (I)
“There’s a fight on inside Microsoft. White-collar tech workers who have traditionally shied away from political activism starting to mobilize in their workplaces.
In the midst of last week’s growing uproar over the Trump administration’s family separation policy, Twitter users began circulating a blog post from earlier this year in which the company proclaimed how “proud” it was to support ICE, the agency responsible for immigration enforcement…
Alerted to the relationship by the blog post, Microsoft workers expressed outrage over the company’s $19.4 million contract with ICE. The company briefly edited the post to remove the glowing language about ICE, according to Gizmodo, then posted a statement describing its “dismay” at the administration’s family-separation policy. Microsoft did not address whether it would cancel the contract.
It wasn’t nearly enough. By Tuesday, an open letter signed by more than 100 Microsoft employees had been posted to company’s internal message board, the New York Times reported. The letter, addressed to CEO Satya Nadella, called for the cancellation of the contract and the creation and enforcement of a “clear policy stating that neither Microsoft nor its contractors will work with clients who violate international human rights law” — as well as greater transparency on contracts the company signs with any government… “ (J)
“This isn’t just traumatic for the children either. Take the story of a Honduran woman whose child was ripped away from her by federal immigration officials quite literally while she was breastfeeding, according to her lawyer.
There is an actual physical effect of that separation, on top of the psychological damage. To understand it, you need to understand what’s called the oxytocin effect. As Vox’s Julia Belluz explained:
Breasts full of milk can be painful. Latching can also be painful, especially in the early days and months after the baby’s birth. But when a baby suckles a mom’s breasts, the mother’s brain’s posterior lobe secretes oxytocin, and some of that pain is relieved with the release of milk…
This highly refined and intricate system of hormones during breastfeeding is essential to keeping moms and babies healthy, and “it explains why the mother and baby should be kept together and why they should have skin-to-skin contact,” the WHO explained.
It also helps explain why the story of the Honduran migrant is so inhumane.” (K)
“Pediatric oncologist Manuela Orjuela-Grimm, MD, an assistant professor of Epidemiology, studies the long-term health risks of migrant youth who cross the border with Mexico. “All of the young people I speak with remember being detained by Homeland Security in what they call the ‘hielera’ or icebox,’” she says. “Years later, the experience is still vivid in their minds and remains what they remember as one of the worst parts of their journey: the chill of the air conditioning, terrible and insufficient food, guards yelling at crying children.”” (L)
(A) Hundreds of Separated Children Have Quietly Been Sent to New York, by Liz Robbins, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/20/nyregion/children-separated-border-new-york.html
(B) More Immigrant Children Arrive at New Jersey Shelter, by Cybele Mayes-Osterman, http://observer.com/2018/06/immigrant-children-new-jersey-shelter/?utm_campaign=new-jersey-politics&utm_content=2018-25-06-13670496&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=channel-new-jersey-politics-distribution
(C) ‘They’re Anxious.’ Separated Migrant Children in Foster Care Are Now in Limbo After Trump’s Immigration Order, by JENNIFER CALFAS, http://time.com/5317693/foster-care-family-separation-policy/
(D) The Uncertain Fate of Migrant Children Sent to Foster Care, by Emily Atkin, https://newrepublic.com/article/149161/uncertain-fate-migrant-children-sent-foster-care
(E) Immigrant children forcibly injected with drugs, lawsuit claims, by Matt Smith and Aura Bogado, https://www.revealnews.org/
(F) Fearing Deportation, Immigrant Parents Are Opting Out Of Health Benefits For Kids, by Ashley Lopez, https://khn.org/news/fearing-deportation-immigrant-parents-are-opting-out-of-health-benefits-for-kids/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=e9293fc4a6-MR_COPY_08&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-e9293fc4a6-149527969
(G) A Reckoning After Trump’s Border Separation Policy: What Kind of Country Are We?, by KARL VICK, http://time.com/5318229/donald-trump-border-separation-policy/
(H) Pope criticizes Trump’s policy of separating immigrant children from parents at the Mexican border, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/20/pope-criticizes-trumps-policy-of-separating-immigrant-children-from-parents-at-the-mexican-border.html
(I) 2 airlines ask US not to put migrant children on flights, by david koenig, https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/american-asks-us-put-migrant-children-flights-56033522
(J) How Silicon Valley workers are revolting against Trump’s immigration policy, by Alex Press, https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2018/6/25/17500620/family-separation-policy-border-silicon-valley-microsoft-google-amazon
(K) ‘They’re Anxious.’ Separated Migrant Children in Foster Care Are Now in Limbo After Trump’s Immigration Order, by JENNIFER CALFAS, http://time.com/5317693/foster-care-family-separation-policy/
(L) Mailman Faculty Discuss Public Health Impacts of Family Separation, https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/mailman-faculty-discuss-public-health-impacts-family-separation