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Trump getting away with separating children at US southern border

Jun 20,2018 - Last updated at Jun 20,2018

The plaque attached to the iconic Statue of Liberty in New York City's harbour reads, "Give me your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send thee, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me." These words have become hollow since Donald Trump moved into the White House and were largely ignored by the Barrack Obama administration, which over its eight years in office deported 2.5 million migrants.

Trump strives to outdo his predecessor and reduce the 11.4 million illegal immigrants estimated to be living in the US by any means, fair or foul. He has called for legal immigrants, as well as illegals, to be deported and ordered the arrest of both illegals and legals, who have criminal records, the latter are about two per cent. He has threatened to deport some 3.6 million, so-called "dreamers”, child arrivals who were extended protection under the Obama administration.

To deter migrants from seeking asylum in the US or trying to enter illegally, the Trump administration has, between May 5 and June 9, separated 2,300 children from parents either asking for sanctuary or sneaking across the border. The number now stands at 70 separations a day.

The separation and warehousing of infants and children in centres both near and far from their parents has caused an uproar in the US. Even Trump's wife, Melania, a migrant from Slovenia naturalised after her marriage to Trump, said she hates this practice. Her remarks followed condemnation from former first lady Laura Bush, who called the separation of children from parents entering the US illegally "cruel" and "immoral." She castigated the "zero tolerance" policy adopted by Trump, who believes this will discourage families, particularly from Mexico and Central and South America, from trying to enter the US illegally or applying for asylum.

She wrote in an opinion article published in the Washington Post, "Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert" in Texas.

Trump responded to the two first ladies by declaring, "The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility.

"You look at what's happening in Europe, you look at what's happening in other places, we cannot allow that to happen to the United States. Not on my watch."

It is doubly ironic that Trump is taking such a hard line on immigration as two of his wives, the first and third, and his grandfather were immigrants. Frederich Trump — a barber, restaurateur and boarding house and brothel keeper, was twice a migrant from Bavaria in Germany. At 16, he travelled to the US for employment, but, once he had made his fortune, he sought to resettle in Bavaria. He was, unfortunately, forced to return to the US after the Bavarian ruler threatened to deport him for fleeing military service and leaving the country illegally. He was, therefore, both a draft dodger and an illegal emigrant.

During Donald Trump's election campaign and after his inauguration, he has given priority to dramatically cutting immigration, although the total number of illegal and legal migrants living in the US is only three per cent of the population. Nothing is ever said about the US contribution to instability and violence in the countries of origin of most migrants.

Imagine if he had to cope with the influx of refugees Jordan and Lebanon have had to manage since war erupted in Syria in 2011.

Jordan has received 1.3 million, 658,000 registered with UN aid agencies, Lebanon 2.2 million, of whom 1 million are registered. In addition to Syrians, Jordan hosts 66,262 Iraqis, 9.838 Yemenis, 4,058 Sudanese, 810 Somalis and more than 1,500 others, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which is charged with looking after the welfare of registered refugees. The percentage of Syrian refugees in Jordan's population is 8.9 or 89 per 1,000 of the population. 80 per cent of Syrian refugees live below the poverty line.

Since Israel's establishment in 1948 and expansion in 1967, Jordan has hosted more than 2 million UN registered Palestinian refugees. During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and the 1991 and 2003 US wars on Iraq, Jordan had an influx of tens of thousands of Iraqis.

Syrian refugees account for 30 per cent of Lebanon's population, the highest refugee percentage in the world. Lebanon has also received 30,675 Palestinians from Syria, 174,000 from Palestine and 6,000 from Iraq.

Turkey, which transformed Syria's civil unrest into full-scale regional and international warfare, has accepted 3.5 million Syrians, the largest number. However, Turkey has a population of 80 million. Therefore, Syrian refugees amount to only 4.375 per cent of the population.

Under the Obama administration, the US resettled 16,218 Syrian refugees through November 2016. In January 2017, Trump signed an executive order suspending further resettlement in the US of any and all Syrian refugees, citing "security concerns". He also castigated European countries for admitting "millions of refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern trouble spots". Trump got his figures wrong, exaggerating once again. Germany, the European country which received the most Syrians, took in 600,000, Sweden 110,333, Hungary 72,505, Croatia 55,000, Greece 54,574, Austria 45,827, Holland 32,000, Denmark 19,433, Bulgaria 17,527, the poorest country in Europe admitted more than the US. The rest of Europe took in less.

If Jordan, Lebanon and Europe had adopted a "no tolerance" policy towards Syrians and earlier Iraqi and Palestinian refugees, there would have been worldwide outrage. Today, the outrage is confined to liberals in the US and commentators in liberal media abroad. Trump is getting away with separating children at the US southern border because the US legislative and judicial arms of the government can, as they are dominated by conservative Republicans, who agree with or are afraid to counter Trump.

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Comments

MY COUNTRY IS NOT LIKE MOST OTHER COUNTRIES ON THIS PLANET BECAUSE THE CITIZENS HAVE VOICE AND OUR CONGRESS HAVE THE LAST SAY IN MOST PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES SO THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN AND NO MORE CAGES, SEPERATIONS OR SOME OF THE URGLY PICTURES WE HAVE SEEN UNTIL TODAY. WE DO NOT SEPERATE FAMILIES NO MATTER WHERE ONE COME FROM OR WHO YOU MARRY OR YOUR PLACES OF WORSHIP.
I WISH THAT MICHAEL JANSEN CAN USE THIS INCIDENT TO EXPLAIN TO THE JORDANIAN GOVERNMENT THAT STRATIFYING AND SEPERATING FAMILIES BASED ON WHO THEY CHOOSE TO MARRY IS AS BAD IF NOT WORST THAN THE DISMANTLED TRUMPISM THAT QUOTES "SCRIPTURES AS WRITTEN IN ROMANS 13". IF I MAY ASK ALL JORDANIANS IF THE PROHIBITION OF CHILDREN OF JORDANIAN WONMEN MARRIED TO NON JORDANIAN MEN FROM BEING COUNTED AS CITIZENS IS DIFFERENT FROM TRUMPISM CAGES? WHICH ONE IS WORST???????????? LET US DO THE MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS AND DECIDE. DO NOT FORGET THAT THESE JORDANIAN WOMEN PAY TAXES, WORKED IN MOST CASES FOR THE SAME GOVERNMENT THAT IS DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THEM. IS THIS NOT AN INSULT OF THE FIRST ORDER WORST THAN TRUMP CAGES????????????????

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