When asked to express themselves over being detained by Donald Trump, the first thing that comes from migrant children are cages.
A charitable humanitarian respite center in Texas asked three children, ages 10 and 11, to depict their time in the custody of Trump’s US Customs and Border Protection agency. They didn’t draw sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows. All three children drew people in cages. After the traumatizing experience of leaving their homes to seek asylum in the United States, the Trump administration compounded their trauma by ripping them apart from their families and imprisoning them in cages. This is torture and will leave these children with scars they’ll carry for the rest of their lives.
A social worker at the center gave the drawings to the American Academy of Pediatrics, who then gave them to CNN. Dr. Colleen Kraft, immediate past president of the AAP said, “When a child draws this, it’s telling us that child felt like he or she was in jail.”
The pediatrician group was asked for advice from Kevin McAleenan, who is now the acting secretary of the Homeland Security, who then ignored their advice.
Kraft said, “we made recommendations and our government didn’t follow through with them.” They believe training CBP agents in identifying illnesses will prevent future deaths at the centers, where two children have already died.
The AAP visited one of the centers and didn’t find any pediatricians, but what they did find disgusted them. Dr. Sara Goza, president of the AAP said when visiting two CBP facilities, “The first thing that hit me when we walked in the door was the smell. It was the smell of sweat, urine, and feces. No amount of time spent in these facilities is safe for children.”
Donald Trump disagrees. He claimed in a tweet that many of “these illegal aliens are living better now than where they came from, and in safer conditions.” He also tweeted, “If illegal immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detention centers, just tell them not to come. All problems solved!” The rest of his tirade was blaming Democrats.
You know, it’s like Trump wants the conditions of these centers to be leaked out, despite barring the press, health and child care professionals, and elected representatives from visiting. Just like the child-separation policy was designed to discourage immigrants from seeking asylum, they’re hoping the horrid and traumatizing conditions at these facilities will do the same.
Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris called Donald Trump a “predator” yesterday. Some people are saying she took it too far. I don’t think she took it far enough. Donald Trump is a predator and has even boasted about it. But, he’s so much more. The man is a child abuser. What he’s doing is traumatizing children for life. His detention centers are torture chambers and concentration camps. Call Trump and the centers for what they are.
Hopefully, someday, I’ll get to draw Trump in a cage.
Watch Me Draw.