Uncategorized

Seizing Children From Parents at the Border Is Immoral. Here’s What We Can Do. – The New York Times

Seizing Children From Parents at the Border Is Immoral. Here’s What We Can Do.

The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

Image

Before being sent to a processing center for possible separation, a Honduran asylum seeker and her 2-year-old waited as U.S. Border Patrol agents reviewed their papers.CreditJohn Moore/Getty Images

It may be hard to believe that this is happening in the United States in 2018, that hundreds of children are being snatched from their parents, frequently under false pretenses, often screaming, and placed in vast warehouselike centers like the former Walmart in Brownsville, Tex., where nearly 1,500 boys now spend their days. The parents often don’t know where their children are, or when they will see them again.

In 2014 the Obama administration detained hundreds of families and unaccompanied minors crossing the border, a practice that the federal courts quickly curtailed. But separating families as a matter of unofficial policy is something new and malicious, a function of President Trump’s obsession with undocumented immigrants. This spring, the administration ordered that everyone caught crossing illegally into the United States be prosecuted. And since children cannot accompany grown-ups to jail, people who had crossed illegally with children had their children taken away. Hundreds upon hundreds of children, of all ages, creating a new industry in mass shelters.

The United Nations human rights office called this new practice a serious violation of the rights of children and demanded an immediate halt. Catholic bishops denounced it as immoral. The American Psychological Association warned that the separations threatened the mental and physical health of the children. All to no avail.

The administration has come back with a mix of just-following-orders and falsehoods. The Department of Homeland Security said it had no policy for separating families; it was just catching criminals. President Trump feigned sympathy for the separations but claimed he was the victim of “bad legislation passed by the Democrats,” which nobody could find. Only John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, offered what appeared to be a plausible, if shocking, explanation: that separating parents from their children could be a “tough deterrent.”

who represents you in Washington, and let them know you want the practice of family separation to end. Ask them to support bills that will help reunited children already taken from their parents and also prohibit future removals. Those include the Senate’s HELP Separated Children Act and Keep Families Together Act. The American Civil Liberties Union offers a script for calling the Senate, though we suspect most callers will be able to find the right words themselves.

determined they had a strong enough claim for asylum or humanitarian protection and allowed them to stay in the United States.

An Open Letter To The Parent That Chose Drugs Over Me

I’m sick of hearing these words. I’m absolutely sick and tired of hearing these words come out of others’ mouths. It’s repulsive and dehumanizing to say that someone “deserves to die” because of a struggle with substance abuse or alcohol abuse.

You can make the argument that he “made a choice.” Go ahead, do it. You’re entitled to your opinion.

But don’t you dare say that he deserved to die.

You’re saying that about someone’s loved one. You’re saying that about a human being who struggled with a very real and very prevalent problem in today’s society.

If the tables were flipped, how would you feel?

How would you feel if you had people say to you, “he made a choice, so he has to pay for the consequences.”

We talk about them like criminals. As if death is a “deserved side effect” of drug and alcohol usage.

When a teenager dies from an overdose, we’re saying, “wow, that’s tragic, he was so young.” But when an adult dies, we say, “oh, he should have known better.”

If that adult has been using since childhood, no, he or she really may not “know better.”

I get it, OK. I get that not everyone believes drug addiction and alcohol addiction are diseases. As I said earlier, you’re completely entitled to your opinion.

But to say someone deserved death, that’s repulsive.

When people say that people with drug and alcohol addictions deserve to die, it’s personal for me.

It’s personal because I lost someone from those very causes.

It’s personal because every day I choose not to drink even though I’m 21.

It’s personal because every day I see people using drugs in and around my campus while I walk by avoiding the shouts to “buy some.”

That person you have decided is nothing more than their addiction is so much more than that.

We all have our problems. Even Kim Kardashian, who the media believes to be perfect, has her problems.

But, until we recognize that someone who struggles with drug and alcohol usage is still a human being, our rhetoric isn’t going to change.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but if you’ve ever made a nasty comment about someone struggling with addiction by calling them a “junkie” or some other foul word, you’re part of the problem.

If you refer to someone who has gone through rehab as “clean” you’re also part of the problem because that implies that those who aren’t “clean,” aka those who are using, are “dirty.”

Again, that makes you part of the problem.

I’m not saying we are going to up and change overnight. I know that isn’t realistic.

We do, however, need to be conscientious of how and why we use the rhetoric that we do when it comes to those in recovery and those struggling with addiction.

Sit back for a second and put yourself in their shoes.

How would you feel if you had people telling you that you deserved to die?

Just let that one sink in, and then come back and tell me how you feel about that rhetoric you’ve been using.

New Father Is Left With Giant Hole In Skull Because Of Energy Drinks, And Now His Wife Wants To Warn Others

For some of us, energy drinks are the only way we make it through the day. Most people, however, rarely consider how all of that caffeine and sugar is really affecting their body. Back in April, a teen in South Carolina died suddenly from a caffeine overdose aggravated by energy drinks. Now, a new father named Austin is lucky to have made it out with his life after overusing them for months to cope with a hectic work schedule, and has been physically changed forever.

His wife, Brianna, who was just weeks away from giving birth to their first child at the time, recently took to Facebook to share the harrowing story of how her world almost completely fell apart. Sara Endres, a photographer from Sacramento, CA, has also taken a series of moving portraits that document the young family’s daily struggles in the wake of Austin’s hospitalization.

Scroll down to read about what happened in Brianna’s own words, and share this with anyone who may doubt that energy drinks can be harmful.

A new mother has bravely come forward to tell the story of how energy drinks almost cost her husband his life, and changed hers forever

Image credits: Endres Photography

“Hello, my name is Brianna, and this is my story…

Love is not the little things. It is not the phone calls, the dates, or even the memories. Love is knowing you would sacrifice things that you didn’t even know you could sacrifice. Love is selfless.

Have you ever felt your life shake ? Have you ever been hit with so much emotional turmoil to the point where everything around you becomes fuzzy and shaken? Your lungs feel tight and for a brief second you can’t do anything. You are unable to move, unable to think, unable to even react. I have. I experienced something I never thought I would experience…all while nine months pregnant with my first child.

Being pregnant is supposed to be one of the most amazing journeys you will ever embark on. You’re creating a new life. You are experiencing unconditional love for someone you have not even met.

Austin and I were so excited to meet our little boy. To bring him home. To be a family.”

Austin had picked up the habit to cope with a hectic work schedule, never imagining they would land him in the hospital

Image credits: Daniel Juřena

“I never imagined as I went to sleep that night, that my whole world would be shattered within hours.

I still remember my mother in law waking me up that morning. ‘Austin had an accident’ she said.

All I knew was that my husband was in the hospital. The worst part? I didn’t know why.

After a two hour drive to the hospital, I learned that my husband, the father of my child, the person I am so deeply in love with, had had a brain hemorrhage. Why? The doctors concluded (after running his tox screen and ruling out drugs) that this horrible event was due to his recent excessive energy drink consumption (a habit he had built when he started working longer hours and commuting).

Surgery was already in motion… and after an agonizing 5 hour wait, we got to see him. But while everyone was focused on the almost unrecognizable face hooked up to all sorts of machines and tubes, all I could see was his parents. I saw the light leave his mother’s eyes as she saw her motionless son laying in that hospital bed. I saw his father break down crying as he held onto his wife.

They didn’t know if the life they created together would even wake up.

Watching this family — my new family, who I have grown to love and be a part of, be so shattered and broken…that is the worst feeling I have ever felt.”

One tragic brain hemorrhage and multiple surgeries later, Austin was left with an irreparable hole in the front of his skull, and a wife on the verge of giving birth to their first child

Image credits: Endres Photography

“The next day was round two of brain surgery. Following this were strokes, seizures, swelling, and more things we weren’t prepared for.

There was a moment, sitting by his hospital bed, just praying he would be okay, that I knew I would never give up on him. No matter how messy our life would become. I was going to be by his side through all of it.

After two weeks of living in a hospital, wondering if he would survive or be taken from us, we made our way back home.

The time had come for me to deliver our baby.”

Still under the stress of dealing with Austin’s recovery, Brianna faced the monumental task of bringing their son into the world

Image credits: Endres Photography

“I’m not going to lie to anyone, it was so hard. I had planned on Austin being a part of this huge moment. Being by my side. Holding my hand. Being there to cut the cord. Being there to welcome our son into the world. It didn’t feel right…

But a beautiful miracle happened as I delivered our son. Austin woke up. I went about a week without seeing him. I thought about him every day. I cried as I looked at my child who looked just like his daddy.

When the baby was only a week old, I left him with my in-laws.

I knew I needed to see Austin. I needed to tell him that our baby was here. To tell him how much we needed him.”

Miraculously, Austin awoke from his traumatic experience shortly after the birth, and finally met his baby boy 2 months later

Image credits: Endres Photography

“Weeks went by. We chased him all over the state as more operations and procedures were ordered. I saw him every chance I got.

At a little over 2 months old, our son finally met his dad. A day I wasn’t sure I would ever see. That was the day that my heart gained some of its happiness back.

Some time after that he could finally come home to me. Our life isn’t normal. There are doctors visits and hospital trips — so many that I loose count.

But we are here. Fighting.”

Brianna now spends each day caring not only for her new son, but for her permanently disabled husband, a role she accepts with strength

Image credits: Endres Photography

“I wake up every day to take care of our beautiful little boy and my husband. I prepare the meals, do physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. I help him with personal hygiene. I help him walk. I help him with every aspect of his life.”

These poignant photos, taken by Sacramento-based photographer Sara Endres, capture the beauty and pain of this young family

Image credits: Endres Photography

“And in between these tasks I take care of our very busy eight month old. It is hard, and I am tired, but we make the most of it.”

Their story is harrowing, but also a testament to the existence of true love and self-sacrifice

Image credits: Endres Photography

“He isn’t the same man I fell in love with, but I still fall further everyday, We are fighting to help him recover. To make his life better. One day we will get there.

Until then, I will never give up on him. Because love is selfless, and I love him more than life itself.”

Image credits: Endres Photography

Should people be taking the health risks of energy drinks more seriously? Tell us your thoughts below

‘Pure Genocide’: Over 6,000 Nigerian Christians Slaughtered, Mostly Women and Children | The Christian Post

‘Pure Genocide’: Over 6,000 Nigerian Christians Slaughtered, Mostly Women and Children

Clarification appended

Church leaders in Nigeria have said that Christians are experiencing “pure genocide” as 6,000 people, mostly women and children, have been murdered by Fulani radicals since January.

“What is happening in Plateau state and other select states in Nigeria is pure genocide and must be stopped immediately,” said the Christian Association of Nigeria and church denominational heads in Plateau State in a press release last week.

The church leaders said that “over 6,000 persons, mostly children, women and the aged have been maimed and killed in night raids by armed Fulani herdsmen,” which is prompting their cry to the government of Nigeria “to stop this senseless and blood shedding in the land and avoid a state of complete anarchy where the people are forced to defend themselves.”

The press release also pleaded with the international community, as well as the United Nations, to intervene in the Fulani attacks, fearing they might spread to other countries as well.

“We are particularly worried at the widespread insecurity in the country where wanton attacks and killings by armed Fulani herdsmen, bandits and terrorists have been taking place on a daily basis in our communities unchallenged despite huge investments in the security agencies,” they added, saying President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to bring attackers to justice.

They referenced several mass-scale attacks this year, including the slaughter of over 200 people, mostly Christians, at the end of June in raids carried out by the herdsmen on local area farmers near the city of Jos.

Although some international news media has sought to characterize the killings as a land conflict between community groups, the church leaders, along with major persecution watchdog groups such as Open Doors USA and International Christian Concern, have all said that Christians are being deliberately targeted.

“We reject the narrative that the attacks on Christian communities across the country as ‘farmers/herdsmen clash.’ The federal government has been so immersed in this false propaganda and deceit while forcefully pushing the policy idea of establishing cattle ranches/colonies on the ancestral farming lands of the attacked communities for the Fulani herdsmen as the only solution to the problem,” the press release declared, accusing the government of also pushing such a narrative.

“How can it be a clash when one group is persistently attacking, killing, maiming, destroying; and the other group is persistently being killed, maimed and their places of worship destroyed? How can it be a clash when the herdsmen are hunting farmers in their own villages/communities and farmers are running for their lives?” the church leaders asked.

“How can it be a clash when the herdsmen are the predators and the inhabitant/indigenous farmers are the prey? Until we call a disease by its real name and causatives, it would be difficult to properly diagnose the disease for the right curative medications.”

There have been different reports on the number of Christians killed in Nigeria since the start of the year.

The International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, stated on Tuesday that a combined total of 1,750 Christians, along with non-Muslims, have been killed both by the Fulani herdsmen, and by Boko Haram radicals, who are a separate terror group.

Intersociety also warned of a genocide in its statement.

“Nigeria is drifting to [a path of] genocide through killing, maiming, burning and destruction of churches and other sacred places of worship, and forceful seizure and occupation of ancestral, worship, farming and dwelling lands of the indigenous Christians and other indigenous religionists in Northern Nigeria,” it said.

Roman Catholic Bishop William Avenya of Gboko separately told charity Aid to the Church in Need that the world cannot wait for a full-on genocide before deciding to intervene.

“Please don’t make the same mistake as was made with the genocide in Rwanda,” he pleaded, referring to the massacre of Tutsi people in Rwanda, where close to 1 million were killed in 1994.

“It happened beneath our noses, but no one stopped it. And we know well how that ended,” Avenya said.

Read more in-depth about the genocide: Searching for Truth Amid the Bloodshed 

Clarification: Sources say that due to inadequate government record keeping in Nigeria, the number of deaths reported in Nigerian massacres is only to be construed as an estimate. Because of this, different organizations put out varying estimates on how many were killed in 2018 as a result of the Fulani violence.

While the Christian Association of Nigeria and Christian leaders reported that as many as 6,000 were killed in the first half of 2018 alone in raids by Fulani militants, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law estimates that no less than 2,400 were killed by Fulani herdsmen in 2018. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 1,600 were killed in the Middle Belt as a result of the conflict between Fulani militants and Christian farmers.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever

Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever

Image

CreditCreditMike Blake/Reuters

Even though hundreds of children separated from their families after crossing the border have been released under court order, the overall number of detained migrant children has exploded to the highest ever recorded — a significant counternarrative to the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce the number of undocumented families coming to the United States.

Population levels at federally contracted shelters for migrant children have quietly shot up more than fivefold since last summer, according to data obtained by The New York Times, reaching a total of 12,800 this month. There were 2,400 such children in custody in May 2017.

The huge increases, which have placed the federal shelter system near capacity, are due not to an influx of children entering the country, but a reduction in the number being released to live with families and other sponsors, the data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services suggests. Some of those who work in the migrant shelter network say the bottleneck is straining both the children and the system that cares for them.

Most of the children crossed the border alone, without their parents. Many are teenagers from Central America, and they are housed in a system of more than 100 shelters across the United States, with the highest concentration near the southwest border.

Stories of such behavior have emerged through reporting in recent months as the shelter system has faced intense criticism by members of Congress and the public.

“Being in congregate care for an extended period of time is not a good thing. It increases the likelihood of things going wrong,” Mr. Greenberg said.

The administration funneled children who were separated from their parents into the shelter system this summer under the earlier policy, without any apparent collaboration with the officials who oversee the shelter program.

The separated children injected a new degree of chaos into the facilities, according to several shelter operators, who spoke anonymously because they are barred by the government from speaking to the news media. The children were younger and more traumatized than those the shelters were used to dealing with, and they arrived without a plan for when they could be released or to whom.

But the system had already been overwhelmed for months, operators said, as children continued to flow in while fewer were being discharged.

The shelter system has overflowed before. In 2014, when unaccompanied children flooded across the border in unprecedented numbers, a lack of shelter space led to a backup of children at the border in what authorities referred to at the time as a humanitarian crisis.

Since then, new facilities have been constructed or arranged by contract — and they are now nearing capacity.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A18 of the New York edition with the headline: Shelters Near Capacity As More Youth Migrants Are Detained Than Ever

Read more >