Enough talk about when and where they were taken, we need to start talking about charging people with crimes. Fear of going to jail might be the only thing to stop these people. First, we were told only a few children were separated from their parents, then a few hundred, then we were told it was two thousand. The New York Times now reports the Trump administration has “separated”, “at least 3000 children from their parents”, 100 of these children are under the age of five.
It’s hard to get your head around the horror of this situation. Having committed this unspeakable atrocity, the Trump administration isn’t willing to reunite these children with their parents. The New York Times says, “Customs and Border Protection Agents have deleted or destroyed 100s of records linking children to parents”.
I’d really like to know how these people sleep at night. How does a Customs and Border Patrol Agent separate an infant from its mother knowing he is sending that child to a fenced in cage in an abandoned Walmart? How can an Agent destroy the only record that can reunite that child with its parents? The people committing these acts should know millions of Americans are eventually going to insist that people be charged for these crimes. Trump and his crew won’t last forever, the law is on our side, and many Americans are not going to rest until these people are charged.
According to Efren Oilvares, a lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project, of 381 families he interviewed, 278 are still separated.
While Marylanders may not be able to control what atrocities Donald Trump commits throughout our country, we can control what happens in the State of Maryland.
As children are moved from border areas to jails and camps across the country, states become complicit in the “for profit” business housing immigrant children in state prisons. Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, signed a 287(g) agreement last year allowing Anne Arundel Country to house immigrant detainees in jails and detention centers in exchange for Federal money. We need a true accounting of the number of immigrant parents and children housed in Anne Arundel County and in Maryland.
To give an idea of the scope of the problem, in 2017 there were 4,500 juvenile immigration court proceedings in Maryland. That number is expected to grow, we cannot allow this to happen in Maryland. Now is the time for every Marylander with a conscience to stand up and demand an end to detentions in our state.
Governor Hogan has the power to end the detention of children who were separated from their parents in our state, but so far he hasn’t done much. He could scrutinize the corporations operating these detention centers and make sure they are following every rule and regulation to exacting standards. When they don’t, he could remove their state licenses. He could look into having the State of Maryland rather than the Federal Government repatriate these children. That would be the least he could do for these children illegally incarcerated by the Federal Government in our state. He should open these detention centers to the media and let the public see for themselves how these children are being treated.
As Marylanders, we all are responsible for what happens in our state, we must bring as much pressure as we can to Hogan, Schuh, and other elected officials to correct this horrible injustice being committed in our names.