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Democrats Launch Bill To Stop Family Separation, Goddamn It
At Auschwitz, mothers and children were kept together when they went to the gas chambers. Let that sink in.
While the ACLU moves forward with its class action lawsuit to end Donald Trump's family separation policy, Senate Democrats are stepping up to take action on the legislative side against the New Cruelty. While the actual text of the bill has yet to be posted, Sen. Dianne Feinstein yesterday filed "A bill to limit the separation of families at or near ports of entry," which would put the brakes on family separation. Because who have we become when we're ripping children out of the arms of parents, in the name of scaring OTHER parents away from from a nation that, in earlier, more naive times, called its famous torch-bearing symbol the mother of exiles? City on a hill? Fuck that -- we're now proud of building walls.
Feinstein announced the bill on Twitter today; by which time the bill had already gained 31 co-sponsors.
BREAKING: I’ve introduced our bill to keep immigrant children from being separated from their parents. 32 senators are taking a stand and making clear that we have a moral obligation to stop this horrific policy. #FamiliesBelongTogether
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) June 8, 2018
In late-May statement, Feinstein had condemned the Trump policy, saying Congress had to rein in the Trump policy:
It’s hard to conceive of a policy more horrific than intentionally separating children from their parents as a form of punishment [...]
These terrible policies call into question whether we are in violation of our own laws and our obligations under international law.
Donald Trump, for his part, has of course been busy lying like crazy about his own policies, blaming Democrats again today for legislation that literally does not exist:
On Friday, on his way to the G7 summit in Canada, the president said he would be open to a bill to keep families together [...]
"All they have to do is call us," the president said. "And we'll draw a bill that gives us great border safety and security and it's fair. Because I don't like these children being separated from their parents, I don't like it, I hate it! But that's a Democrat bill that we're enforcing."
Trump is lying, of course. There is no "Democrat bill" requiring the separation of families at the border, and he knows damn well that the idea to take children away was pushed by his chief of staff, John Kelly, began rolling out in 2017, and became formal policy when Jeff Sessions announced it last month.
However, now there IS a Democratic bill to stop the policy. It's S.3036, and while it lacks a cutesy acronym or memorable name yet -- we're inclined toward the "JESUS FUCKING CHRIST AMERICA ISN'T SUPPOSED TO BE THE COUNTRY THAT DOES THIS SHIT" Act of 2017, which is why we aren't in Congress -- a number is PLENTY to start calling your representatives and senators with.
You want motivation to make those calls? Read this piece in the New York Times about José, a five-year-old boy taken away from his father in El Paso. When he was taken away from his father, he had a bag of dirty clothes and two pictures he had drawn -- one of his father, and one of his whole Honduran family:
This is Josés drawing of his family. José is five, and has no idea where his father is.
This is one that you simply need to read yourself. It's the best kind of journalism, taking the cold -- and in this case, cold-blooded and heartless -- policy pronouncements and measuring them against the lived reality of those affected. In this case, one of those affected is a very frightened little boy who doesn't know why any of this is happening. He's with an American foster family, and that's a bit better than being in detention. Only a little bit, though:
Since his arrival in Michigan, family members said, a day has not gone by when the boy has failed to ask in Spanish, “When will I see my papa?”
They tell him the truth. They do not know. No one knows.
José’s father is in detention, and parent and child until this week had not spoken since they were taken into the custody of United States authorities.
"I am watching history happen before my eyes. It’s horrendous,” said [José's foster mother] Janice, 53.
It's been said too many times already since the New Cruelty got rolling, but if you've ever wondered what you'd have done during times of great historical horror, look at what you're doing right now. That's what you're doing. Call. March. Elect Democrats. Scream if you need to. If you think you could do more, then do more.