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Former Washington Journalist
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Donald Trump and his administration are coming to condemnation for the squalid conditions in which the government has been holding the children of detained immigrants.
Children, upwards of 2,000 at any given time, reportedly are being held without basic supplies and conditions, such no bathing, no soap or toothbrushes–and in the case of the very young–without diapers.
The children are being held as part of Trump’s Draconian policies to cut immigration across the southern border.
“Perhaps it’s not surprising this keeps happening, when the people running our nation’s [immigration] constantly denigrate, insult and dehumanize migrants,” said MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also attributed the conditions to a lack of compassion.
“This is a huge level of incompetence and lack of compassion. The standards for sanitation, food, medicine for water, for cleanliness have been violated repeatedly and seems like intentionally,” Merkley said. “I think any American would be horrified to see these conditions. These are things that are fairly easily remedied with bottles of water and soap and access to a bathroom, with taking small children who have a medical condition and getting them to medical care. I don’t think we can simply say that it’s the level of the influx.
“I just think that we need to have a thorough investigation of what has happened and hold people accountable for failures, whether intentional and deliberate. This is absolutely unacceptable,” Merkley added.
What’s worse is that the creation of such unacceptable conditions was intentional by the Trump administration to pressure Democrats to accept more of Trump’s anti-immigration agenda, according to Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif).
“You know, this is a human rights abuse. This is such a stain on our country. I have spent the last 20 plus years working to transform our nation’s child welfare system. And this is a situation, like my tweet said, if any parent did anything that is going on on the border, the children would literally be taken away and put in foster care. You can’t tell me that this problem cannot be solved,” Bass said. “You remember that President Trump just a few days ago said, well, he was going to cancel education, cancel recreation, cancel the hygiene needs. This was deliberate. How dare you torture children to try to get a compromise out of Democrats?
“And I am sorry, but hearing about children walking around in soiled diapers, hearing about children taking care of toddlers, you are talking about straight up child abuse, and I think that this needs to be condemned internationally, frankly,” she added.
Most of the immigrants being taken into custody aren’t criminals, just people seeking a better life, said CNN host Don Lemon.
“When I saw it I said, ‘This can’t be real. This is not real.’ And the alert came up. It’s real. … I have been asking people, ‘All, who are we? Who are we as people to sit and judge people who are trying to come across for a better life and conditions?’ And to cast most of them or all of them in light they’re trying to get something free. Or breaking the law. …
“For the most part, people are coming over and risking their lives because they want to have a better life. What America offers. What America offered you,” Lemon added. “And what it offered at least in the recent past to people like me. And so I don’t understand who we are. I don’t know. I don’t know how anybody can twist this into, ‘They shouldn’t be bringing kids anyway.’
“If you’re saying that to yourself, what a terrible sentiment to have. Get on your knees tonight. And ask for guidance on how to feel about this issue,” Lemon added. “And ask God to soften your heart. Or at least speak to you about who you have become as a human being.”