Kids in Cages

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By Kevin Ayala, Law Clerk – Bolour Immigration Group

The office of Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida and journalists at Axios, released documents detailing shocking allegations of 4,556 instances of abuse of unaccompanied minors (UAM) during fiscal years 2015-2018. https://www.axios.com/immigration-unaccompanied-minors-sexual-assault-3222e230-29e1-430f-a361-d959c88c5d8c.html
Most of the sexual acts were conducted between children at these shelters, though at least 178 were with staff, and 254 were with unknown persons. While the events are themselves appalling, the descriptions revolting, and disappointingly not complete, they’re also illuminating.

These horrendous acts occurred during both Trump and Obama’s Administrations. Hence the problem is not isolated; they are institutional. Sadly, to date, no criminal prosecutions have taken place. Instead, the adult employees, for the most part, have been terminated from their respective places of employment.

I am not sure which is worse; that we jail kids, or that we subject them to getting sexually molested when they’re in our custody. For sure, the responsibility for this nightmare rests squarely with those charged in our government to oversee the immigration process. Presently, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen has this dubious honor.

Oddly enough, in 2018, Secretary Nielsen testified under oath that the U.S. government did not jail children. So clearly, she has a credibility issue which has drawn the ire of the Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives. The House committee in charge would like the Secretary to clarify her previous statement.

Regardless of how our government massages these facts– it’s clear that we are jailing kids. It’s also clear that the kids in our jails are not safe and are away from their parents. For a government that constantly references Jesus for its day to day business, the following quote seems to be on point.

“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he [Jesus] took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10-3-16 ESV.)

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