I have been watching the movie “No escape” (2015) starring Owen Wilson and Lake Bell. The film features a family of four in the middle of a violent riot in an Asian country. Men with knifes and guns hunt down and kill people. They go from room to room, killing men, women and children. In desperation, Jack (Owen Wilson) does everything – from throwing his children from one side of the building to the other to jumping from impossible heights. His wife Annie (Lake Bell) almost got raped at knife by the gang leader, though she exacts her revenge by killing him later on. Finally, they escape by crossing over to Vietnam where they seek asylum. They are given a room to stay – and the family has a bittersweet moment at the end.
I just re-imagined this scenario at the US-Mexico border, where there are Hispanic people trying to escape from a dangerous predicament. They would seek asylum in the US – the ‘land of the immigrants’ or the ‘free world’ or ‘greatest country in the world’. But then, the authorities are likely to put their children inside a cage and take them away. Jack and Annie will be forced to go back to the country they came from without their children – and they will never see each other again.
I may be exaggerating here but this is what I can sense after seeing the way in which minors are being treated at the border. Boys and girls below four years are apparently being taken from their parents and kept in cages.
— Jess Morales Rocketto (@JessLivMo) June 17, 2018
— D.L. Dormody (@Skritt) June 12, 2018
This is the horrifying scenario in the aftermath of a policy introduced in May 2018 by the Trump administration. Surprisingly, Trump has vehemently tried to deny this in his desperation to wash his hands after all the criticism he received. “We’re going to have strong — very strong — borders, but we are going to keep the families together,” Mr. Trump said, as he signed the order in the Oval Office. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”
Ivanka Trump, an advisor and child’s advocate, broke silence only after the policy was reversed.
Thank you @POTUS for taking critical action ending family separation at our border. Congress must now act + find a lasting solution that is consistent with our shared values;the same values that so many come here seeking as they endeavor to create a better life for their families
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 20, 2018
Detention centers holding men and boys have barely allowed access to journalists. We know immigrant women and girls face additional challenges, like the increased threat of sexual violence, when migrating to the US and while incarcerated.
We ask again: where are the girls?
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) June 14, 2018
I don’t want to talk about politics in a ‘free world’. Instead, I would like to express that I am glad that the administration decided to end the cruel policy. However, it does raise the question – why introduce the law in the first place? It is visibly cruel, tyrannical and inhumane – and matches everything that was written in history books and begged not to be repeated. Trump’s comparison of immigrants with animals simply echoes what Hitler expressed about Jews. Until last month, this policy didn’t come into effect – and as per a report, the entry of illegal immigrants was less than what the US had seen a decade ago.
It breaks one’s heart to see children being taken from their parents. According to an article in the New Yorker, “Trump didn’t reverse the policy of ‘zero tolerance’ that his Administration introduced in May, which obliges immigration agents to arrest and detain anybody who crosses the border outside an official entry point. The Times reported that the new executive order was designed ‘to get around an existing 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, that prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention—even if they are with their parents—for more than 20 days.’ If Trump gets his way, families stopped at the border will now be detained indefinitely under the custody of ice. That is precisely the outcome that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit deemed illegal in a 2016 ruling about the Flores settlement.”
Anchor Rachel Maddow broke down in tears on air – and obviously, ultra-nationalists took time and liberty to take a dig at her. Over 2,300 children were taken from their parents, and despite the policy reversal, the parents might not see the children for months. “There will not be a grandfathering of existing cases,” Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesperson for the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, told the New York Times.
Personally, I am not surprised to see this from the guy who claimed to make America great again while also generalising about Mexican immigrants. The gentleman claimed that there were “good people” in the Charlottesville white-supremacist march, and even expressed tolerance through “thoughts and prayers” when a white man shot and killed 17 kids at Parkland. This is, in effect, racial profiling – where leniency is shown to the privileged race.
Ever since he took the office, the administration passed Executive Order 13769 which led to outrage. Trump also went on to to sign a global gag rule in a room full of men. The US also withdrew from the Paris Agreement while being one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases. This year, it also withdrew from the UN’s Human Rights Council. These decisions are ironical but not surprising from a country that tried to execute the family separation policy.
This action by the authorities is nothing short of inhumane and it reeks of fascism. The idea of living an American dream has become a nightmare in the eyes of humanity. Frankly speaking, I didn’t expect this from a nation that fought against Nazis in World War II. Yet, I am not surprised at the attitude of this man who just wants to ‘drain the swamp‘.