The Living Force
More re the above:
The plot thickens.
One has to wonder how many of these children - currently of unknown number - will become unaccounted for/disappear as has already happened:Merkley made the visit because, he said in the videos, he was concerned about the children separated from their families under a new “zero-tolerance” policy, officially announced on May 7, in which all migrant adults arriving at the border illegally are criminally prosecuted and separated from their children in order to be sent off to jails. Children separated from their parents are placed in the custody the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Shelters meant to house them and migrant children who arrive at the border alone are nearing capacity. HHS is considering housing children on military bases to cope with the surging number of migrant children under their care.
It’s not known how many children have been separated under this new policy, but the Washington Post reported that in May, there were 10,773 children in custody, an increase of almost 2,000 from the previous month, before the policy was implemented.
“So far, as far as we know, no member of Congress has actually been allowed to see what’s going on with this program,” Merkley said in the Facebook Live video after being turned away from the facility.
A very troubling situation that raises disturbing questions about what's really happening to these kids - and which side Trump is really on - or maybe he's just clueless about what could/is happening to these kids. Perhaps it is an attempt to keep them safe.The U.S. lost track of 1,475 immigrant children last year. Here’s why people are outraged now.
Reports of federal authorities losing track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children in their custody. Scathing criticism over children being taken from their migrant parents at the border. Proposed rallies.
In the recent days, outrage about treatment of children taken into U.S. custody at the Southwest border has reached a fever pitch, exploding in a barrage of tweets and calls to action with the hashtags #WhereAreTheChildren and #MissingChildren.
How accurate are certain claims circulating online? Are these children really missing? What do those children have to do with the Trump administration’s new immigration enforcement policies? How many families are being separated? And why is there so much outrage about it now? We take a look at how the story has snowballed.
Did the United States really lose track of 1,475 immigrant kids?
In short, yes. During a Senate committee hearing late last month, Steven Wagner, an official with the Department of Health and Human Services, testified that the federal agency had lost track of 1,475 children who had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border on their own (that is, unaccompanied by adults) and subsequently were placed with adult sponsors in the United States. As the Associated Press reported, the number was based on a survey of more than 7,000 children:
From October to December 2017, HHS called 7,635 children the agency had placed with sponsors, and found 6,075 of the children were still living with their sponsors, 28 had run away, five had been deported and 52 were living with someone else. The rest were missing, said Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary at HHS.
Health and Human Services officials have argued it is not the department’s legal responsibility to find those children after they are released from the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which falls under HHS‘s Administration for Children and Families. And some have pointed out that adult sponsors are sometimes relatives who already were living in the United States and who intentionally may not be responding to contact attempts by HHS.
However, neither of those arguments has done much to quell outrage surrounding the testimony by Wagner, a principal deputy at HHS who oversees the Administration for Children and Families.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), chairman of the Senate subcommittee, has repeatedly argued that it was a matter of humanity, not simply legal responsibility, citing a case in which federal officials had turned over eight immigrant children to human traffickers.
“These kids, regardless of their immigration status, deserve to be treated properly, not abused or trafficked,” Portman said in the subcommittee. “This is all about accountability.”
Portman reiterated his stance in an April 24 “Frontline” special called “Trafficked in America,” which documented the plight of the eight children who were forced to work on an egg farm in Ohio.
“We’ve got these kids. They’re here. They’re living on our soil,” he told the PBS program. “And for us to just, you know, assume someone else is going to take care of them and throw them to the wolves, which is what HHS was doing, is flat-out wrong. I don’t care what you think about immigration policy, it’s wrong.”
According to HHS, approximately 85 percent of sponsors who ultimately acquire custody of unaccompanied minors are parents or close family members.
Were these 1,475 children separated from their parents at the border?
No. The children unaccounted for in last year’s HHS survey all arrived at the Southwest border alone. The government refers to these children as “unaccompanied alien children,” or UACs.
Are children being taken from their parents after they cross the border into the United States?
Yes. On May 7, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department would begin prosecuting every person who crossed the Southwest border illegally — or at least attempt to prosecute “100 percent” — even if some of them could or should be treated as asylum seekers, as the American Civil Liberties Union has argued.
Although Sessions said he understood that some people were fleeing violence or other dangerous situations, he has also stated that the United States “cannot take everyone on this planet who is in a difficult situation.”
“If you cross the border unlawfully … then we will prosecute you,” he said in a pair of speeches in Scottsdale, Ariz., and San Diego. “If you smuggle an illegal alien across the border, then we’ll prosecute you. … If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally. It’s not our fault that somebody does that.”
PHOTOS: Alleged Sex Trafficking Bunker Discovered On Clinton-Connected Land
Last week, the Tuscon branch of Veterans on Patrol found a mysterious tunnel near 1-19 and Valencia while scouring the area for homeless veterans.
“Louis Arthur is from the Veterans on Patrol group,” local KOLD13 news reported. “They search washes and bridges looking for homeless vets they can help get off the streets.”
On Tuesday, the group stumbled upon the bunker.
I didn’t expect to find something this heinous and inhumane this close,” said Craig Sawyer, a former Navy SEAL and member of the group.
The group found restraints on trees, hair dye, children’s items and pornographic magazines.
After alerting local and federal law enforcement about the situation and receiving no help, the group rallied local volunteers together to physically dig up the site. Veterans on Patrol has amassed a groundswell of support, and has vowed to keep the uncooperative law enforcement entities out of the site while they conduct a private investigation. They are hopeful to bring cadaver dogs on site to search the area.
The local news media has stopped reporting on the group’s activities.
The situation came to a head this afternoon when, according to the group, they dug up a bloody knife, female underwear, and the plane ticket of a potentially missing girl from Seattle. The group is trying to contact the girl’s family for verification. They filmed the finding live on Facebook, and shortly thereafter, the police showed up and arrested two members of the group for trespassing.
Here is a video showing some of the evidence:
Arthur has been giving live updates of what has been termed #OperationBackyardBrawl from the Veterans on Patrol Facebook page. Watch one of the latest:
Warning: Explicit Language
Arthur, a Pastor, suggests in one of the videos that the group suspects that bodies may be buried in the bunker. The group has been dispersed by law enforcement, but Arthur and another member are remaining on what appears to be a tower to oversee the site, setting up a possible confrontation with police.
The group was apparently confronted by suspected cartel member riding on horseback who asked to go into the bunker and retrieve his tools, according to one of the videos on the page.
Interestingly, the land on which the bunker was found is owned by CEMEX, a multinational building materials company based in Mexico. The company is a partner of the Clinton Global Initiative:
The plot thickens.