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Trump’s family-separation policy defies humanity

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US detention centers

The United States of America had already become the leader in human rights abuse after its decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, its new policy on family separation only makes it worse.

Donald Trump has always taken a hard line on the immigration issue

Since assuming office, President Donald Trump has taken a hard line on the immigration issue. His policy of “zero-tolerance” was in effect from day one and because of it, many families have been devastated by the horror of so-called “legal separation.” Many mothers and fathers have been denied the right of being close to their children as they were deported and many became the subjects of Immigration Detention Centers. There are nearly 300 hundred of these “detention centers” spread over the entire country and house several thousand immigrants. These centers are either controlled by the federal government, the state or by some private organization. It is assumed that if the inflow of immigrants to these centers increases, it might lead to navy detention centers as well.

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MCALLEN, TX – JUNE 12: A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. The asylum seekers had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents before being sent to a processing center for possible separation. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is executing the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants’ country of origin would no longer qualify them for political asylum status. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Detention centers – normally what they are called – aren’t really detention centers, they’re more like prisons

Detention centers – normally what they are called – aren’t really detention centers, they’re more like prisons. The detainees are transported from the border to these prisons handcuffed, or sometimes even shackled. When they get there, they are asked to change into a uniform or a jumpsuit and taken to their bed which is marked by their registered alien number.

The beds of the detainees are in huge rooms, which are flocked with other detainees. These rooms have very little privacy and are heavily guarded.

Throughout the day there are several “counts”, to keep track of the detainees,  during these the victims have to stay on their beds. The staff is rude and unresponsive and serious mistreatment such as physical violence, sexual abuse, and segregation as punishment can be expected by the detainees.

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detention centers

US detention centers for immigrant children have an uncanny resemblance with Auschwitz detention camps.

Maintaining contact with outside world as an immigration detainee is extremely difficult since the calls are very expensive

Maintaining contact with the outside world as an immigration detainee is extremely difficult since the calls are very expensive. No detainee is allowed to receive phone calls and visiting hours are also limited. In some centers, the detainees have to speak to their visitors from the other side of a plastic window through an intercom. And if a detainee is visited by someone during meal hours and they skip their meal, they’re denied food later on.

As a result of the crackdowns, more than 2000 children – some even as young as five –  have been separated from their families are being kept in the same centers. Lawmakers and the media who have visited the centers where the victimised children are being held have called them “cages”. These children are clustered in steel cages and due to lack of sufficient beds, they are forced to sleep on the floor using emergency blankets as their beds.

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detention centers

Inside one of the detention centers for immigrant children.

The detention centers are too small, hot, and smelly for anyone

A 16-year-old Guatemalan immigrant, Edmilson Aguilar Punay, crossed the Mexican border into the US illegally last month recalled his experience in a Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Phoenix. Edmilson spent several weeks there and told that he was being kept in an office-sized, windowless room with 30 other boys and young men. He said that the room was so crowded that he could not even lie down at times.

Edmilson told that the interviewer that he had to share a single toilet with his inmates, to which they had very limited access.

“The smell was very bad. It wasn’t even separated by a wall,” he said. “They said we had air conditioning, but it was very hot in the room.”  

The 16-year-old said he remembered children crying and screaming for their parents.

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Immigrant children are guarded by fully armed security guards 24/7.

“You could just hear cell phones ringing and children crying,” said Edmilson. “Where there were small children, you could hear them crying all the time.” He remembered an immigration officer telling a young boy that his mother would come later. But another boy in the cell told him that his mother had been already deported to Guatemala.

Edmilson told that they did not know whether it was day or night. The detainees there were being fed “sugary fruit juice and undercooked pre-packaged containers of chicken soup.”

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Detention center

Inside one of the detention centers for immigrant kids.

United States has become the biggest human rights abuser under Donald Trump

This is how humans are being treated in what is called “The Land of the Free”. Separating children from their mothers, forcing people to sign documents, carrying out physical abuse, forcing people to live in unsanitary conditions, denying them privacy, denying them food, denying them the right to speak to their friends and family for not even committing any crimes is nothing but a clear violation of human rights. Is President Trump really planning on making a difference with his zero-tolerance policy? Or is he just trying to copy Joseph Stalin? 

Whatever his intentions might be, but as horrifying as these characteristics of Immigration Detentions Centers are, it is safe to say that they are the Gulags of the 21st Century.

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