What Are Texans Doing For Father's Day? Marching To Get Migrant Kids Back To Their Families.
Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who hopes to replace Ted Cruz in the US Senate this fall, is one of several Texas and El Paso leaders participating in a march to the just-opened tent city at the US/Mexico border in Tornillo, Texas, where children have already been
The protest against the Trump family separation policy was streamed live on Facebook; here's a copy. Unfortunately, it got all choppy near the end, so some of the speeches cut in and out:
Oh, hey, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, of Massachussetts, was there, too! Hope he had sunscreen, not just chapstick.
At the march, O'Rourke said,
We're wanting to make sure that everyone in this country knows what is happening here, in their name, in Tornillo, where kids have traveled 2,000 miles, some alone, some with their parents, are being held in detention camps, tent cities that have just been constructed over the course of this last week. [...]
This is a decision for the country to make. Either we are going to be a country of detention camps for kids, of walls, of sending the National Guard to the border, or we are going to be better than that. But it's not decided by any means, and though we've been able to figure it out in the past, doesn't mean we're going to figure it out this time. It's on us. No one is going to do this for us.
O'Rourke added that while the Trump administration has carried cruel immigration policy "to its most inhumane, logical conclusion," it's not solely one party's problem: as the ACLU's Lee Gelernt has explained, ICE began morphing into a rogue paramilitary agency well before Trump and we all need to end it.
Yesterday, US Rep. Will Hurd, a Republican whose district includes the Tornillo port of entry, said he's disappointed in the Trump administration's lack of transparency on the family separation policy. He also told the El Paso Times the Tornillo facility could be expanded to as many as 4,000 beds, which he said was "just absolutely nuts."
The tents each hold 20 children, and federal regulations require one adult be on hand for each 10 children. While each tent is equipped with an air conditioning unit, a tent is not where any child should be on Father's Day.
At the moment, according to the El Paso Times, the tents are being used to house unaccompanied teens who crossed the border by themselves, to make room in more permanent shelters for younger kids taken from their parents. The teens in the tents have been brought in from youth shelters across the country.
Yes, that's the logic of the New Cruelty: Pretend that it's somehow less outrageous to cram the tent city at the border full of other, older kids, so Trump spokespeople can smugly say on TV that the facility isn't holding younger children who were freshly taken from their parents. At least, not necessarily on Father's Day.
They would like us to pretend that's not crazy.
For his part, Rep. Hurd, who apparently has at least minimal political survival instincts, condemns the familiy separation policy:
"This isn't a Republican or a Democrat issue," Hurd said. "This is about a bad policy folks have created. I think what you saw in Tornillo was the manifestation of a terrible policy of separating kids from their families."
As far as we can tell, that bipartisanship doesn't appear to have extended to this morning's march. Maybe Hurd is working on finding co-sponsors for a House version of S. 3036, Dianne Feinstein's bill to end family separation?
Someone ought to ask him about that.
Happy Father's Day to all you Wonkers. Organize. Make Noise. Elect Democrats.
Shut this fucker down.
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