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UN rights chief condemns migrant family separations at US border

Children ‘kept in cages’ in border patrol centre nicknamed ‘the dog kennel’

By AFP - Jun 18,2018 - Last updated at Jun 18,2018

A view of inside a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention facility shows detainees inside fenced areas at Rio Grande Valley Centralised Processing Center in Rio Grande City, Texas, US, on Sunday (Reuters photo)

WASHINGTON — The UN rights chief on Monday condemned the “unconscionable” separation of migrant children from their parents at the US border, as First Lady Melania Trump made a rare political plea to end the deeply controversial practice.

The “zero-tolerance” border security policy implemented by President Donald Trump’s administration has sparked tears among migrant families and outrage on both sides of the political aisle.

It took on particular resonance as America celebrated Father’s Day.

“The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said as he opened a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

He called for Washington to immediately end the practice of “forcible separation of these children”.

Democrats, meanwhile, stepped up their opposition to the policy, describing it as “evil”.

“They call it ‘zero tolerance’, but a better name for it is zero humanity, and there’s zero logic to this policy,” said Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, after leading a group of Democratic lawmakers to the Mexican border.

They toured a converted Walmart supermarket that is now housing about 1,500 immigrant children, after which Merkley said that “hurting kids to get legislative leverage is unacceptable. It is evil”.

Amid accusations that minors were being held in cages, Senator Chris Van Hollen was among those on Sunday who toured a Border Patrol processing centre in McAllen, nicknamed “the dog kennel”. 

“Witnessed loads of kids massed together in large pens of chain-linked fence separated from their moms and dads,” Van Hollen Tweeted, as he urged Trump to “change your shameful policy today!”

Congressman Mark Pocan was blunter: “I went into these facilities yesterday. They are cages.”

Bracing for more child arrivals, the government plans to build camps at military bases in Texas.

Authorities said that during one recent six-week period nearly 2,000 minors were separated from their parents or adult guardians — a figure that only stoked the firestorm.

Amid deep divisions, congressional Republicans have struggled to craft a viable immigration plan.

 

Melania weighs in 

 

Trump’s wife, who seldom wades into the political arena, opted to call for bipartisan immigration reform to fix the issue, rather than denounce the policy.

“Mrs Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,” her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said. 

“She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”

The president himself later Tweeted: “The Democrats should get together with their Republican counterparts and work something out on Border Security & Safety. Don’t wait until after the election because you are going to lose!” 

Immigration is one of the most divisive issues roiling American politics.

The number of separations has jumped since early May, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that all migrants illegally crossing the US border with Mexico would be arrested, regardless of whether the adults were seeking asylum.

Since children cannot be sent to the facilities where their parents are held, they are separated, which the American Academy of Pediatrics has warned causes “irreparable harm” to the children.

One Honduran asylum seeker killed himself in detention after US authorities separated him from his wife and three-year-old son last month, The Washington Post reported.

Laura Bush, the former first lady and wife of Republican ex-president George W. Bush, was unflinching in her rejection of the policy.

“I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” Bush, who lives in Texas, wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece.

In one incident that highlighted the crisis, five immigrants died and several others were injured after a high-speed chase with Border Patrol agents in Texas ended in a crash, US media said.

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Comments

IRONICALLY, NO JORDANIAN WANTS TO TAKE THIS BATE WHICH MAY BE AN INDICATOR THAT JORDANIANS HAVE DEVELOPED TOLORANCE AND ACCEPTANCE THAT WOMEN HAVE NO VALUES.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK GOD THAT THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF HAS CONDEMNED THIS BARBARIC ACT OF INHUMANITY TO CHILDREN NEVER MIND
THE PERSECUTION AND PROSECUTIONS OF THEIR PARENTS. IN FACT IT IS FAIR TO SAY THAT WE THE PEOPLE OF THE GREATEST,MOST PWERFUL AND WEALTHY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD ARE USING CHILD SNATCHING AND SEPERATION AS A LEGITIMATE TOOL OF BOARDER CONTROL. SHAME UNTO US AND THANK GOD THAT MOST IF NOT ALL AMERICANS ARE OFFENDED AND EMBARASSED ABOUT THIS PRACTICE. THIS IS WHAT MAKES MY COUNTRY DIFFERENT AND MOST POWERFUL IN THE WORLD BECAUSE OUR PRESIDENT IS NOT THE STRONG MAN AS WE SEE IN MANY COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD. OUR CITIZENS HAVE VOICE AND OUR LAW MAKERS WILL ALWAYS HAVE THE FINAL SAY. NOW, LET US COMPARE THIS DARK AGES POLICY OF SEPERATING CHILDREN AND BASICALLY JAILING THEM AS A TOOL OF PUNISHMENT WITH THE JORDANIAN POLICY OF SEPERATING FAMILIES INCLUDING CHILDREN AND BY THIS, I MEAN THEIR OWN GRAND CHILDREN. PLEASE I WILL WANT THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS JUST AS I HAVE CONDEMED THIS POLICY OF MY OWN COUNTRY:
1) WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PICTURE OF THE CAGE SHOWN ABOVE AND THE WAY THAT JORDAN LOCKS OUT THEIR
GRAND CHILDREN SIMPLY BECAUSE THEIR FATHERS ARE NON JORDANIAN MEN EVEN THOUGH THEIR MOTHERS ARE JORDANIANS.
2) IS IT TRUE THAT FAMILIES ARE BEING SEPERATED IN JORDAN TODAY WHEN A JORDANIAN WOMAN IS MARRIED TO A NON
JORDANIAN MAN EVEN WHEN THAT MAN IS A CITIZEN OF THE COUNTRY THAT FUNDS AND KEEPS THE LIGHT ON IN JORDAN.
3) WHILE I DEPLORE THIS TRUMPISM MENTALITY, HIS ADMINISTRATION CAN ARGUE THAT THE COUNTRY IS UNDER SIEGE BY
ALIENS AND THAT HE IS PROTECTING OUR BOADERS. TOUGH DEFENSIVE POINT THAT MAKE THE INTERNATIONAL LAWS LOOK
LIKE A JOKE AND I DONT BUY THAT. AND YET JORDAN EXCLUDES JORDANIANS BY BLOOD WHEN A JORDANIAN WOMEN ARE
MARRIED TO NON JORDANIAN MEN.
4) TO MAKE TRUMPISM LOOKS LIKE A JOKE, FOR ANY NON JORDANIAN MEN MARRIED TO A JORDANIAN WMOMAN TO STAY IN
IN JORDAN, IT HAS TO BE ON RENEABLE VISAS THAT SEND THESE FAMILIES TO THE POLICE STATIONS MORE THAN ONCE
A YEAR, TO DOCTORS FOR TESTS, NOT ALLOWED TO WORK, DRIVE OR ANY MEANS OF SUPPORTING THEIR FAMILIES. THEY
DO NOT HAVE ANY RIGHT OF BEING COVERED BY MEDICAL INSURANCE INCLUDING BABIES. AT LEAST THE CHILDREN BEING
SEPERATED FROM THEIR PARENTS IN US BOARDERS ARE FED, MEDICALLY TAKEN CARE OF WHEN IN JORDAN, IT IS A ZERO
SCORE IN THE DUMMY VARIABLES OF ZERO OR ONE USED IN A STATISTICAL CO-VARRIATE ANALYSIS.
5) THE HYPOCRICY IN THE JORDANIAN POLICY IS THAT JORDANIAN MEN CAN GO TO ANY COUNTRY ON EARTH AND MARRY AS
MANY WOMEN AS THEY WANT PLUS CONCUBINES AND ALL ARE AUTOMATICALLY JORDANIAN CITIZENS.
6) TO MAKE THIS MOCKREY EVEN MORE VISIBLE, A LOT OF JORDANIAN MEN HAS MULTIPLE NATIONALITIES THROUGH THE
INTER-CONTINENTAL MARRIAGES AND YET PUTS UP A ROAD BLOCKS FOR THEIR INTERNATIONAL IN LAWS AND THEIR CHILDREN
7) IN SUMMARY, WHAT IS MORE CRUDE THAN CRUDE OIL, TRUMP BARRIERS OR THE EXCLUSION AND BLOCKADE OF JORDANIAN
WOMEN MARRIED TO NON JORDANIAN MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES???????
8) NOW THAT WE HAVE A NEW PRIME MINISTER THAT IS EDUCATED IN THE WEST THAT UNDERSTANDS THE LOGISTICS OF GENDER
DISCRIMINATIONS, INJUSTICE AND THE INTENDED OR UNINTENDED EFFECTS, HE HAS HIS HANDS FULL OF PUZZLES TO
DISINTANGLE BECAUSE OF ITS LONG TERM UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCIES. INJUSTICE AND FAIRNESS IS A TWO WAY TRAFFIC.

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