As the Trump policy of separating children from their parents enters its third month, two questions are becoming more and more urgent:
- What are they going to do with the children?
- Where are the girls?
What are they going to do with the children?
This question is gaining traction as multiple news outlets are reporting that the Trump administration has no process in place for connecting and reuniting children and parents once they are separated. Like so many things in this mal-administration, the policy for separating children was announced before the processes and protocols were put in place.
As a result, thousands of children, some as young as 8 months, have now been taken from their parents and put into holding pens, awaiting housing in longer-term detention centers. Meanwhile, their parents are being processed and deported without their children, and with no way to find their children in the vast, unorganized bureaucracy.
Which obviously leads to the question: What is the Trump administration going to DO with all these children? Deport them, at six years old, to some other country? Put them up for adoption in this country? GIVE them to people who will take them? SELL them to people who will take them?
This is not hyperbole. The Department of Homeland Security is already washing its hands of the question, saying “Ask HHS” (Health and Human Services). HHS is not equipped to handle a sudden influx of thousands of small children. They are subcontracting with whomever they can find to take the children — and the companies they are subcontracting with do not have to meet any sort of guidelines for child care.
In the best of circumstances, this is a bureacratic nightmare. In the worst of circumstances? The mind doesn’t want to go there. But we must, because we must fight to get answers to this question, and hold those in charge accountable for what happens to these children.
Where are the girls?
The other question that is growing in volume is quite simple: Where are the girls?
The reason this is being asked is that almost all the detention centers that reporters have been allowed into have been for boys ages 10-18. Not as many with younger boys, and almost none with girls of any age.
When Secretary Nielson of DHS was asked about this, she shrugged her shoulders and said she didn’t know. She’s running the damn program, and didn’t know where the girls were.
Again, one can think of some pretty bad reasons for this lack of public access to girls detention centers. For now, though, let’s just keep asking the question: Where are the girls?
Keep asking these questions, keep pushing for answers and for change
We have to keep asking these questions. Every press conference, every news story, every time we interact with an elected. We must not “be quiet,” and we must not “be nice.” Being quiet and being nice and keeping your head down allows bad things to happen all around you.
At this point, we still have the freedom to ask. Keep asking. We still have the freedom to push for change. Keep pushing.At this point, we still have the freedom to ask. #KeepAsking . We still have the freedom to push for change. #KeepPushing .Click To Tweet