Where are the kids?
The question remains largely unanswered by the US government that stripped them from their parents. The complicit GOP members of Congress remain conspicuously silent.
A federal court has required the reunification of approximately 3,000 children separated from their families at the border under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. The deadline is July 26. Based on its track record with a tiny subset of this group — children under the age of five — there is a zero percent chance that the Trump administration will meet that deadline. But there’s a 100 percent chance that it will manipulate the numbers to create a false narrative obscuring its failure.
Fun with Numbers — Except It’s Not Funny to Toddlers
Trump will blow the July 26 deadline because his administration couldn’t comply with a similar order to reunite only 103 kids under age five by July 10. As of July 12 — two days late — it had reunited only 57 of the children. Even more remarkably, it treated the remaining 46 as a creative solution to an arithmetic problem.
Specifically, on July 10, Justice Department attorneys told the court that 27 of the remaining 46 children were “determined to be ineligible” for reunification. Less than 48 hours later, that number had risen to — you guessed it — 46.
Fifty-seven reunifications plus 46 “ineligibles” equals 103. Reunification problem solved.
Behind the Numbers
The government claims to be relying on “court-approved criteria” in making the “ineligibility” determinations. If so, the criteria are suspect:
— For 12 of the kids, ineligibility resulted because the US government deported their parents without them. Seriously? That’s an escape hatch for kidnapping children?
— For another 11, parents are in state or federal custody for unspecified (to the public) offenses. What are those offenses, exactly? I sure hope the misdemeanor of attempted illegal entry at the border isn’t among them.
— Another 11 parents have what the government describes as “a serious criminal history (charges or convictions for child cruelty, kidnapping, murder, human smuggling, domestic violence, etc.)” “Charges”? “Etc.”? Presumably, the court will ask for more information about this catch-all.
The Human Face of Tragedy
Behind the numbers are tragic individual chapters in one of America’s darkest stories. Read this front-page article in The New York Times, which describes innocent children housed and treated as prisoners, and then weep for those children, their families, and our country: “Cleaning Toilets, Following Rules: A Migrant Child’s Days in Detention.”
July 26, 2018 is the next court-ordered date by which more than 2,000 kids are to be reunited with their families.
Creative arithmetic is not an answer; it’s an insult.
Never let Trump and the Complicit GOP forget what they have done — and continue to do — in the name of the United States of America.
The whole world is watching. It won’t forget, either.