These aren't people.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Xmo1, May 17, 2018.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Posted to facebook by USA Senator Elizabeth Warren today 29/6/2018

    Even if we allow, say 10%, for political embellishment, her story is really informative and horrowing in detail.
    Sunday morning, I flew to McAllen, Texas to find out what's really happening to immigrant families ripped apart by the Trump administration.

    There's one thing that's very clear: The crisis at our border isn't over.

    I went straight from the airport to the McAllen Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center that is the epicenter of Donald Trump's so-called "zero-tolerance" policy. This is where border patrol brings undocumented migrants for intake before they are either released, deported, turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or, in the case of unaccompanied or separated children, placed in the custody of Health and Human Services.

    From the outside, the CBP processing center looks like any other warehouse on a commercial street lined with warehouses. There's no clue about the horrors inside.

    Before we could get in, CBP insisted we had to watch a government propaganda video. There's no other way to describe it – it's like a movie trailer. It was full of dramatic narration about the "illegals" crossing our border, complete with gory pictures about the threats that these immigrants bring to the United States, from gangs to skin rashes. The star of the show is CBP, which, according to the video, has done a great job driving down the numbers.

    Then an employee described what we were about to see. "They have separate pods. I'll call them pods. I don't really know how they name them." Clearly they had gotten the memo not to call them what they are: cages. Every question I asked them had a complicated answer that led to two more questions – even the simple question about how long people were held there. "Nobody is here longer than 24 hours." "Well, maybe 24-48 hours." "72 hours max." And "no children are separated out." "Well, except older children."

    The warehouse is enormous, with a solid concrete floor and a high roof. It is filled with cages. Cages for men. Cages for women. Cages for mamas with babies. Cages for girls. Cages for boys.

    The stench – body odor and fear – hits the second the door is opened. The first cages are full of men. The chain link is about 12-15 feet high, and the men are tightly packed. I don't think they could all lie down at the same time. There's a toilet at the back of the cage behind a half-wall, but no place to shower or wash up. One man kept shouting, "A shower, please. Just a shower."

    I asked the men held in cage after cage where they were from. Nearly all of them were from El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras.

    Then I asked them how long they had been there – and the answers were all over the map, from a few days to nearly two weeks (72 hours max?). The CBP agents rushed to correct the detained men, claiming that their answers couldn't be right. My immigration specialist on the trip who speaks fluent Spanish made sure the men understood that the question was, "How long have you been in the building?" Their answers didn't change.

    Cage after cage. Same questions, same answers.

    Next we came into the area where the children were held. These cages were bigger with far more people. In the center of the cage, there's a freestanding guard tower probably a story or story-and-a-half taller to look down over the children. The girls are held separately in their own large cage. The children told us that they had come to the United States with family and didn't know where they had been taken. Eleven years old. Twelve. Locked in a cage with strangers. Many hadn't talked to their mothers or fathers. They didn't know where they were or what would happen to them next.
    The children were quiet. Early afternoon, and they just sat. Some were on thin mats with foil blankets pulled over their heads. They had nothing – no books, no toys, no games. They looked shell shocked.

    And then there were the large cages with women and small children. Women breast-feeding their young children.

    When we went over to the mamas with babies, I asked them about why they had left their home countries. One young mother had a 4-year-old child. She said she had been threatened by the gangs in El Salvador. She had given a drink of water to a police officer, and the gang decided she must be in with the police. The longer she spoke, the more agitated she got – that she would never do that, that she understood the risk with the gangs, but that the gangs believed she did it. She sold everything she had and fled with her son to the United States.

    One thing you won't see much of in the CBP processing center? Fathers caged with their children. After pressing the CBP agents, they explained that men traveling with children are automatically released from the facility. They just don't have the cages there to hold them. Women with small children, on the other hand, could be detained indefinitely. I pressed them on this again and again. The only answer: they claimed to be protecting "the safety of the mother and children."

    CBP said that fathers with children, pregnant women, mothers of children with special needs, and other "lucky ones" who are released from the processing center are sent over to Catholic Charities' Humanitarian Respite Center for help. That was my next stop in McAllen. Sister Norma, her staff, and volunteers are truly doing God's work. Catholic Charities provides food, a shower, clean clothes, and medicine to those who need it. The center tries to explain the complicated process to the people, and the volunteers help them get on a bus to a family member in the United States.

    Sister Norma introduced me to a father and his teenage son from Honduras. The father said that a gang had been after his son, determined that the boy would join the gang. The only way for the boy to escape was to run. The man left his wife and four daughters in Honduras to bring his son to the United States. His only plan is to find work here to send money home to his family. His cousin lives in New Jersey, so CBP sent their paperwork to the local ICE center in New Jersey, and they would soon begin the long bus ride there.

    Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley provides a lifesaving service to people of all faiths and backgrounds, but with a humanitarian crisis in their backyard, they're clearly stretched as thin as it gets. With more money and volunteers, they would gladly help more people.

    I asked Sister Norma about the women and babies who were in indefinite detention. She said her group would open their arms and take care of them, get them cleaned up and fed and on a bus to a family member – if only ICE would release them.

    "This is a moral issue. We are all part of this human family," they say.

    Next, I met with some of the legal experts on the frontlines of this crisis – lawyers from the Texas Civil Rights Project, the Border Rights Center of the Texas ACLU, and the federal public defenders.

    I gave them a rundown of everything I'd seen so far in McAllen, particularly when it comes to reuniting parents and children, and they raised some of my worst fears:

    The Trump administration may be "reunifying" families, but their definition of a family is only a parent and a child. If, for example, a 9-year-old crosses with an 18-year-old sister – or an aunt or uncle, or a grandparent, or anyone who isn't the child's documented legal guardian – they are not counted as a family and they will be separated.

    Mothers and children may be considered "together" if they're held in the same gigantic facility, even if they're locked in separate cages with no access to one another. (In the world of CBP and ICE, that's how the 10-year-old girls locked in a giant cage are "not separated" from their mothers who are in cages elsewhere in the facility.)

    In the process of "reunifying" families, the government may possibly count a family as reunited by sending the child to a distant relative they've never met – not their parents. Some relatives may be unwilling to claim these children because it would be inviting ICE to investigate their own families.

    Parents are so desperate to be reunited with their children that they may be trading in their legal right to asylum.

    The system for tracking separated families is virtually unknown, if one exists at all. One expert worries that for some families, just a simple photo may be all the documentation that the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services have to reunite them. (I sincerely hope that's not true.)

    The longer the day went on, the more questions I had about how the Trump administration plans to fix the crisis they've created at the border. So my last stop of the day was at the Port Isabel Detention Center, about an hour east of McAllen. It's one of the largest detention facilities in Texas.

    The Department of Homeland Security had released some details on its plan to reunify families. The release noted that Port Isabel will be the "primary family reunification and removal center for adults in their custody."

    Let's be clear: Port Isabel isn't a reunification center. It's a detention center. A prison.


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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member


    There's no ambiguity on this point. I met with the head of the facility. He said several times that they had no space for children, no way to care for them, and no plans to bring any children to his locked-down complex. When I pressed on what was the plan for reunification of children with their parents, he speculated that HHS (the Department of Health and Human Services) would take the children somewhere, but it certainly wasn't going to be to his facility. When I asked how long HHS would take, he speculated that it would be weeks, but he said that was up to them. He had his job to do: He would hold these mothers and fathers until he received orders to send them somewhere else. Period.

    So let me say it again. This is a prison – not a reunification center.

    We toured the center. It is huge – multiple buildings isolated on a sun-baked expanse of land far from any town. We didn't go to the men's area, but the women are held in a large bunk-bed facility with a concrete outdoor exercise area. It's locked, double-locked, and triple locked. Tall fences topped with razor wire are everywhere, each backed up by a second row of fences also topped with razor wire.

    An ICE official brought in a group of nine detained mothers who had volunteered to speak to us. I don't believe that ICE cherry-picked these women for the meeting, because everything they told me was horrifying.

    Each mother told us her own story about crossing the border, being taken to a processing center, and the point that they were separated from their child or children. In every case, the government had lied to them about where their children were being taken. In every case, save one, no mother had spoken to her child in the days since the separation. And in every case, no mother knew where her child was.

    At the time of separation, most of the mothers were told their children would be back. One woman had been held at "the icebox," a center that has earned its nickname for being extremely cold. When the agent came to take her child, she was told that it was just too cold for the child in the center, and that they were just going to keep the child warm until she was transferred. That was mid-June. She hasn't seen her child since.

    One mother had been detained with her child. They were sleeping together on the floor of one of the cages, when, at 3:00am, the guards took her away. She last saw her 7-year-old son sleeping on the floor. She cried over and over, "I never got to say goodbye. I never got to say goodbye." That was early-June, and she hasn't seen him since.

    Even though the CBP officials at the processing center told me that mothers with children that have special needs would be released, one of the mothers I spoke with had been separated from her special needs child. She talked about her child who doesn't have properly formed legs and feet and walks with great difficulty. One of the mothers spoke of another mother in the facility who is very worried because her separated child is deaf and doesn't speak at all.

    The women I met were traumatized, weeping, and begging for help. They don't understand what is happening to them – and they're begging to be reunited with their kids.

    Detainees can pay to make phone calls, but all of their possessions are taken from them at the processing center. The only way they can get money for a call is for someone to put money on their accounts. I asked if people or charities could donate money so that they'd be able to make phone calls to their family or lawyers, but they said no – a donor would need the individual ID number for every person detained at the center, and ICE obviously isn't going to release that information.

    Three young lawyers were at Port Isabel at the same time we were. The lawyers told us that their clients – the people they've spoken to in the detention center – have strong and credible cases for asylum. But the entire process for being granted asylum depends on one phone call with an immigration official where they make the case for why they should be allowed to stay. One of the first questions a mother will be asked is, "Have you been separated from a child?" For some of the women, just asking that question makes them fall apart and weep.

    The lawyers are worried that these women are in such a fragile and fractured state, they're in no shape to make the kind of detailed, credible case needed for themselves or their children. They had no chance in our system because they've lost their children and desperately want them back.

    We stayed inside at Port Isabel for more than two hours – much longer than the 45 minutes we had been promised. When I finally went to bed that night, I thought about something the mothers had told me – something that will likely haunt me for a long time.

    The mothers say that they can hear babies cry at night.

    This isn't about politics. This isn't about Democrats or Republicans. This is about human beings. Children held in cages today. Babies scattered all over this country. And mamas who, in the dark of night, hear them cry.

    I'm still working through everything I saw, but I wanted you to know the full story. The fight for these children and families isn't over – not by a long shot.
    ~Senator Elizabeth Warren USA.​
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, it is.
    We can understand why somebody like Warren might choose to state otherwise, but this entire shit-ass scene is about Republicans - the Party, the politicians, and the voters.
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    While it may appear so superficially, I disagree.
    The entire mess that is the USA at the moment is due to excessive partisanship forgetting the principle of being Human first and Nation second then perhaps Party third.
    It is not a party that is doing what it is doing on the border. It is the individual who obeys orders no matter how draconian and incompetent they are.
    To me it is just symptomatic of a bigger problem facing the USA and it has little do with political parties.

    By maintaining and promoting partisanship (us and them) the problem can only stay as it is or get worse. IMO

    Elizabeth Warren is totally right in her assessment IMO. regardless of her party allegiances.
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Interestingly on the news tonight the EU may have reached agreement on how to manage their refugee crisis in a way that maintains EU stability. There was mention of the Australian model as a source of inspiration. Potentially they may be thinking of asylum/refugee facilities outside the EU but run by the EU... perhaps it is something the USA needs to consider. With Mexican support have asylum facilities built in Mexico on the Mexican side of the border under UN protection.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Nonsense. The Dems haven't been partisan enough. They keep compromising with this shit as if its purveyors were about to come to their senses and learn to behave as decent people. They've been yakking about "bipartisanship" and "reaching across the aisle" since Reagan rolled them.
    The Republican Party in the US has been taken over by fascism. The US government is being taken over by the Republican Party. What is your idea of a bigger problem?
    If the Republican Party is not fought in its current manifestation, is not stopped, it will not stop.
    It is a Party that is doing what it is doing on the border. the Republican Party.
    There are always such individuals, in any society. One cannot prevent this kind of thing by not having the individuals necessary, by somehow banishing such people from one's society. One prevents it by never allowing power to be concentrated in the hands of those who will issue such orders, organize such people, without accountability. Failing that, the battle is on.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    So if the democrats would cooperate with republicans to build bigger walls, better cages and hire more INS agents, this problem will disappear?
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Would you suggest symmetry about this polarization? I would contend not only asymmetric polarization, but also asymmetry in reflective or relational comparative identity dynamics; that is, the ways in which people come to adopt and relate to the dualistic partisan identities are different, in no small part owing to fundamental differences about the components, devices, or building blocks of the identities. Not only does our society tend formally toward two parties, there is also the simple principle that we can have as many identity groups as we might speculate, and any one group can attempt to force that identity range down to two, and if the stakes are significant enough, people do respond.

    That last, while many would appeal to Machiavelli, is actually picked from Von Clausewitz, who reminds that all wars are started by defenders, as giving the invading group whatever it wants prevents war.

    Excessive partisanship, sure, but the only safe concurrence, there, stays almost uselessly general.

    In my father's youth, if someone just walked up at school and thew a punch, you could fight back, and were told to keep it out of school. In my time, if someone walked up and threw a punch at school, you fought back because you were going to be punished, anyway, for having been in a fight. Americans have been doing a weird song and dance on bullying ... oh, pretty much from the outset. We didn't call it bullying, in those days. In any case, what we end up with, today, can certainly be viewed as dualistic, but it isn't symmetrical.
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  12. gamelord Registered Senior Member

    What solution do you propose, in terms of the border crisis?
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Full-blown human rights.

    It's actually one of the keys to improving American society: Receive, accommodate, and assimilate the refugees; organize our reception of migrant workers; if the question isn't really about supremacism, but justice or some pretense thereof—e.g., "economic justice"—the answer won't be to complain about what the refugees are getting, but, rather, to build the same and better for ourselves.
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Biometric scan at the border. Are you a criminal? Then back you go, right there and then.

    If not you get a list of instructions on how to prepare for your court date and are released. (This gives both you and the government time to prepare your case.)

    If you have valuable skills? You are in; you get a work visa and you can go to work. If not? You get a 90 day visa and you can try to find a job, get into a school etc. After 90 days you can get another hearing. If you get a good job and can justify your presence there, then you get a work visa. If not, another 90 days, or out.

    Once you are working here you can apply for a green card or citizenship through the channels we have now.
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    If you analyze your own post carefully you can see what you suggest is highlighting the issue.
    Democrats co-operating with republicans is an asymmetrical arrangement. (Partisanship)
    Parties co-operating with each other is symmetrical. (bipartisanship)
    (democrats => republicans) Partisanship
    (democrats <=> Republicans) Bipartisanship
    To me the fact that you responded the way you did emphasizes the point that extreme partisanship is entrenched in USA political and civilian culture.
    Like extreme capitalism is.
    Both are essentially dehumanizing in their outcomes.
    It touches on the fundamental problems facing all relationships between people, men and men, men and women, party and party...and so on. IMO

    My take In brief:
    With persons who have self esteem insecurity issues, ( And who doesn't?) ego identification is often only achieved by disagreement.
    The disagreement, if irrational, affords the challenged self esteem the ability to retain individual identity.

    Key point:
    • Agreement is therefore anathema to self identity with regards to insecure self esteems.
    An insecure person will often irrationally disagree as ego/identity maintenance is the primary hidden agenda.
    This insecurity generates extreme partisanship or the need to maintain disagreement not for altruistic reasons but for reasons of a perceived need to retain self identity. Thus disagreement with the motive of self identification is simply a power play because to the insecure person, agreement (in general) is fearfully dis-empowering.

    If one takes a global perspective it is pretty obvious that the USA is going through an identity crisis, driven by a severe bout of self esteem insecurity. Trumps election is symptomatic, as Trump's blatant narcissism is merely an extreme example of the USA in general.

    Example: Trumps disagreement with the previous world order (security/trade/USA constitution/Human rights) is not rationally derived but symptomatic of an insecure self esteem. It is actually virtually impossible for him to agree to anything ...even with himself.

    Ego and self esteem/identity security can normally only be gained by deliberately refraining from lying, being honest in your dealings, seeking a state of personal mental hygiene, admission of mistake, etc etc...
    All of which is lacking in USA political scene at the moment.

    One could suggest that the dehumanization that Trump is promoting on the border is an example of this esteem issue facing the USA currently.(as was Adolf Hitler's dehumanizing strategy pre:ww2 regarding Jews and Gypsies)
    The fact that he CAN dehumanize and is being allowed to, is all you need to consider.
    "they're animals"

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I totally agree. It is only by applying the UN charter (which the USA was fundamentally involved in establishing in 1948) that an "organic" solution will be found.

    It reminds me of a visit to Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2006
    A massive and incredibly diverse city.
    From a particular vantage point in the hills you can look down on the sprawling city that evolved over time. Initially unregulated by building codes or any real city planning.
    The city evolved into an amazing labyrinth of winding streets, terra cotta roofs of all shapes and sizes. Some obviously affluent some impoverished but a sort of organic structure that functioned and still functions today. An organic, living and fundamentally beautiful city. A vibrant living and surprisingly passionate and happy city. ( certainly the older parts of it are IMO)

    By applying Human rights and acting with integrity, organic assimilation would be allowed to occur ( as it has historically been ) with the least investment in government regulation.
    If proper systems for migrant management on the border were in place, the number of illegal ghosts crossing the border would be greatly diminished.
    I am sure most of the people coming over the border would prefer to do so openly and with in a realistic and human system of management than to be considered illegal and need to hide their citizenship or visa status.

    Accepting the reality that borders are always porous and putting strategies in place to deal with it with out compromising human rights ultimately can only benefit the USA.

    Here in Australia we have no real idea of how many illegal immigrants we have. They are forced to seriously hide and survive with out any official documents other than those gained illegally. The offshore asylum seeker detention currently being used is desperately in need of resolution and was a knee jerk act of paranoia about a massive influx of potential terrorists from the Middle East. (as is Trumps "Muslim" ban)

    It is pretty obvious that if a terrorist or criminal gang member seriously wishes to enter a nation illegally he will typically have no difficulty in doing so regardless of walls, or border security.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  17. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    to have a shower ?
    good thing they are just following orders

    i keep wondering what these supposed people are thinking when they cage young girls who are starting to have their periods and are seperated from their mothers and caged with no toilet or health care facilities.

    i wonder what process of de-humanisation is going on in their heads and how that is spreading through society as a normal way of culture.
    i wonder what those child POW camp gaurds are teaching their own small children at home and how that expands and becomes "normal".
    Quantum Quack likes this.
  18. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    The reason that wont happen is because the American right beleive human rights are a pay-per-view item only aforded those who are above a certain wealth level.
    this sense of survival of the fittest is the very core value of their ideology.
    currently the american right wing hold nearly 50% of power.
    so that IS a cultural value of their democracy, like it or not.
    ... which probably gives air to those espousing that nothing best be changed lest the bully doesnt like it.
    Quantum Quack likes this.
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It's quite common among non-Republicans - and non-Republicans are a large majority of the citizenry.
  20. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    ironically a majority of the democracy is non republican, yet the social engineering has taught them to always create 2 sides of everything and to then try and get control of one of them and make as much money as quickly as possible...
    when society is maintained to make sure a lower end suffer then they will do almost anything to get out of the gutter and hopefully live old enough to see some grandchildren.

    applying pure capitalism as a social policy is like stating Ghengis Khan as a social worker
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Hence the notion that extreme capitalism is by it's very nature dehumanizing. Money being of greater value than human rights.
  22. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    unles you wish to have predatory culture styled to target your most vulnerable in your own society, pure capitalism is not the logical choice.
    as the babyboomer generation get older this type of social engineering will become even more evident as it predates on its own weakest.
    this is how it has been formed, created and managed.
    the power is in those declaring that becoming rich enough means you wont have to care.

    that type of ideology may have worked well 100 years ago.
    but in modern society it is not going to sustain civilisation.
    its very design is designed to feed off its own weakness until there is nothing left.
    pure capitalism is a failed model for a peaceful civil society.
  23. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    The very reason that capitalism is regulated, at least in some fashion. Right?

    Google and Facebook come to mind, as do Bayer, Alcoa, and just maybe a few dozen more...

    What would you recommend as a replacement for our terribly broken system?

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