FAMilies belong together
The current criminalization of the human right to migrate and seek asylum is aimed to generate economic gains for some private companies such as MVM Inc. of Virginia and General Dynamics (both with strong ties to the military industry), Comprehensive Health Services Inc. of Florida, Dynamic Service Solutions of Maryland, Southwest Key Programs (who created the Casa Padre detention center on what used to be a Wal-Mart in Brownsville), Exodyne Inc. based in Arizona, among others listed by Hunter Walker, a correspondent for the White House. Migrant and refugee families who are mostly escaping from violence and extreme poverty are separated and put in cages in exchange for million-dollar contracts for these companies. There are people getting rich exploiting and generating a humanitarian crisis.
Many justify this immigration policy under the argument of “enforcing the law” but the laws obey the conscience of the population that supports them, as in their time slavery was legal, accepted and equally lucrative. It should be clear that seeking refuge and asylum is not a crime, as it has never been a crime to emigrate.
The Presidential and the Southern District Court of California orders do not have total effectiveness to reunite the separated families in this atrocious situation, the reality is that ICE continues separating and imprisoning the migrant families under the policy of Zero Tolerance. On August 16, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (organism of the Organization of American States OAS) granted precautionary measures in favor of migrant children who have been separated from their families. In there, it is requested that the United States takes measures to protect the right to a family life, to personal integrity and to have an identity, to provide medical and psychological support, and translation services, among others. In addition to ensuring communication in families that were separated and consular assistance.
And of course, to reunite families, even when many of the parents have been deported. And that is the big problem, many children have been left in limbo after their parents were deported, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) estimates that there are approximately 565 children (including children under 5 years) in this situation. According to the ACLU, many of the parents were forced to choose between being deported along with their children, resulting in their children losing the right to seek asylum, or to be deported without their children, for many a decision between life and death.
Simultaneously, when families demand a dignified treatment they are punished again with the separation of their children as reported by Scott Bixby for the Daily Beast on August 20: “... immigrant parents who are currently detained in a Texas detention center said that they were again separated from their children as punishment for protesting their treatment ... In a conference call organized by the Center for Refugees and Immigrants for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), three of those men and a boy told reporters that the new unexplained separation was a frightening indicator that their reunification ordered by the Court can be canceled at any time and for any reason. “ This punishment was related to the intention of the parents to start a hunger strike to peacefully protest the inhumane conditions in which they and their children are being detained.
According with Natalie Escobar, an editorial writer for The Atlantic, is not new for private companies to profit from the imprisonment of non-white children, it happened to families of many native people, enslaved African-American families, American Japanese families, and elsewhere as in Nazi Germany.
The separation of families and the imprisonment of children will leave trauma compared to that suffered by generations of native children separated from their families under the atrocious policy of “kill the Indian and save the man”. The damage caused to these families constitutes serious violations to their human rights and cannot be justified under the banner of a perverse, racist and cruel legality.
In addition to exercising their right to vote, a united population can exert pressure on the companies that support this type of inhumane policies. Being separated from their family and placed in a cage is an experience that no child in the world should suffer in our time: families deserve to be together and deserve to find a safe place in the world.