The Trump Administration’s implementation of a “zero tolerance” immigration policy has resulted in the state forcibly removing children from their parents – some of whom are fleeing oppression from their homelands at the tail of Turtle Island and seeking assylum in on the back of the turtle’s shell – in the United States. Pictures, audio
The Trump Administration’s implementation of a “zero tolerance” immigration policy has resulted in the state forcibly removing children from their parents – some of whom are fleeing oppression from their homelands at the tail of Turtle Island and seeking assylum in on the back of the turtle’s shell – in the United States.
Pictures, audio and video of indigenous Central American children in cages, crying and wailing for their parents and begging officers for mercy have indigenous people across North America triggered.
Around the world people are responding with outrage, organizing protests and advocating human rights agencies and political influencers to press Trump’s administration to stop. Paediatricians are calling it “government sanctioned child abuse”.
If the world has learned anything from a post-residential school era it is that forcibly removing indigenous children from their parents does irreparable harm — no matter where those people are coming from or why it is being done.
In a press briefing at the White House on Monday, Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen smiled when answering reporters asking the question if she agreed with the “child abuse” allegation.
In her answer, Nielsen defended her administration’s decision by saying a “vast vast majority” of children who have come across the border and are in the care of the US Health and Human Services were “sent here alone by their parents”. Then she paused and smiled, “…that’s when they were separated. So somehow we’ve conflated everything…” as if to imply in her answer that the ‘true’ abuse was initiated by parents sending their children out of their current circumstances and towards the US — hoping they would find something better.
Nielsen went on to say that 10,000 of the children were sent by their parents with strangers on a “deadly and dangerous travel” to get out of Central America and into the United States. Following that with this — “We now care for them. We have high standards. We give them meals. We give them education. We give them medical care. There’s videos. There’s TV’s. I visited the detention centres myself.”
Allow me to translate the colonial English in to layman’s terms. ‘Trust me and my white American de-facto honesty: I’ve seen it myself. These kids are *finally* being taken care of and we’re paying for everything. They’ve got it better here than when their parents (who didn’t even care about them by the way) cast them off “with strangers”…’
White saviour complex to the max, in it’s ultimate Judeo-Christian “I drew you from the waters” form.
Trust me and my inter-generational survivor of residential schools honesty: this is the face of genocide. You might not think so right now – but permitted to go unopposed, and trusting that the state has the best in mind — this will not end well for anyone.
So far four states have called back their National Guard officers — who were deployed to the border by the Trump administration.
There are a number of pending lawsuits forthcoming as well from both people subjected to family separation as well as state officials who are launching suits against Washington.
So what can we do from here? In the early 1920’s a Six Nations teacher, Emily General, witnessed the kidnapping of some 16 Six Nations students by the state. Those kids were forcibly removed from their families and taken to residential schools across the province. Emily and a crew of mothers from Six launched a letter writing campaign to get these kids returned. They were unsuccessful. Not because of a lack of effort but because the system they were fighting was rigged to their failure.
But today we as mothers of indigenous children — as mothers of children from any culture or background — have power. We can compel people in leadership, in business, politics and advocacy — to press the Trump administration to end state sanctioned child abuse and the tearing apart of Central American children from their parents at the border.
Locally, you can write letters or emails to your local MP or MPP, Chief of your First Nation, Chiefs of Ontario, the AFN, the Women’s Association of Canada and the Prime Minister of Canada — and ask them to publicly and officially condemn the separation of indigenous and non-indigenous Central American children from their families crossing into the United States.
Trudeau’s liberals have already imposed tariffs for unfair trade practices against Canadian goods. Everything from steel, to yogurt to liquorice is getting an additional 10% retaliatory tariff for products coming into the country starting July 1.
Liberals have even suggested using Canadian legislation, the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) to specifically target the Trump Administration.
This act gives Ottawa the ability to take “restrictive measures in respect of foreign nationals responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights”. Ironically the framework for this act comes from an American law that sought to penalize the state sanctioned torture of a Moscow lawyer who uncovered the largest tax fraud in Russian history.
If we say nothing — make no mistake — evil will frame that silence as complicit bystanders in state sanctioned child abuse. Whether you condone their appointments or not, consider saying something and pressing Canada’s elected leaders at the national level to publicly condemn this abusive practise.
In Brantford-Brant you can contact the MP Phil McColeman here: 108 St. George Street, Suite 3; Brantford, Ontario N3R 1V6; Telephone: (519) 754-4300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Haldimand-Norfolk MP Diane Finley; 76 Kent Street, South; Simcoe, ON N3Y 2Y1; Telephone: (519) 426-3400 Email: Diane.email@example.com
You can also write to the Prime Minister of Canada here: Office of the Prime Minister; 80 Wellington Street; Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2 or you can submit an online letter at https://pm.gc.ca/eng/connect
You can also connect with local elected and hereditary leaders and urge them to make public declarations condemning the “zero tolerance” policy.