“America-First” Inhumanity: Refugee Children Torn from Parents

Child migrants on the US Mexico border standard

“She could hear her daughter in the next room, screaming, ‘Mommy, don’t let them take me!’”

Imagine you and your seven-year old daughter, having survived a terrible journey of escape from the violence in your homeland, suddenly are arrested and torn apart after applying for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. Is this not every parent’s nightmare, to have your child snatched away? Without your knowledge or consent, your child is then sent 2,000 miles away to a shelter in Chicago, while you are imprisoned in a detention facility near San Diego. For the next four months you’re prevented from seeing each other, only able to speak by phone every couple of weeks.1

This ugly inhumanity toward the children of immigrants is no anomaly; over 700 children have been taken from parents or other adults by the U.S. Border Patrol since October, 2017—more than 100 of them children under the age of 4!

The harm done to the children is irreparable. The authors of a February 28, 2018 op-ed piece in the New York Times write that studies have shown that family separation “can create toxic stress, which can damage brain development and lead to chronic conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and heart disease.”2 In fact, more than 200 child welfare, juvenile justice and child development organizations signed a letter demanding that the Trump/Pence regime stop this policy. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association have both denounced this horrific practice.

What we’re witnessing is now conscious, calculated policy by this openly white-supremacist, anti-immigrant regime. Ignoring U.S. and international law regarding the treatment of refugees, the Trump/Pence fascists are wantonly damaging the lives of children as ransom, to deliver the message to people in those countries considering the risk of coming to the U.S. border to seek asylum: “You are not wanted here, and we won’t hesitate to torture your children if you come.”

At the same time, the Trump/Pence regime is announcing to everyone that in FASCIST America, immigrants, and other non-whites, are now to be looked down on, and treated as the “other,” as the “problem.” That this is the kind of society you’re living in—accept it, or you’ll be targeted as well.

But when have the rulers of this capitalist-imperialist system ever given a fuck about the lives of children? When they turned down the application by Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank, whose life and death has become a symbol of the horrific crimes committed by the Nazis? Or when the MS Saint Louis, a German ocean liner approaching the U.S. shores in 1939 with over 900 Jewish refugees desperately fleeing Hitler’s Germany, was denied entry and was forced to return to Europe, where hundreds of passengers perished at the hands of the Nazis?

How about the long horrific centuries of slavery, when children were auctioned off as their enslaved parents watched and “sold down the river” to slave owners hundreds and hundreds of miles down the Mississippi, never to be seen again—did they give a fuck about the unknown number of lives of children and parents they destroyed?

Did they give a fuck when they carried out and carried through the cultural genocide of the Native Americans through the institution of the Native American boarding schools? More than 100,000 Native American children were forced by the U.S. and Canadian governments to attend these Christian schools. Children as young as five were taken from their parents and sent to these boarding schools where they were separated from their families for nearly a year, while their Native American identities and cultures were literally driven out of them. They were forced to have Euro-American haircuts, forbidden to speak their own languages, and had their names changed to both “civilize” and “Christianize” them; as well as having to endure sexual, physical and mental abuse. As one military officer put it in promoting these “schools,” rather than outright extermination, it would be wiser to “kill the Indian and save the man.”

You, the rulers of America, care about children? Give us a fucking break. You USE small children all over the world, destroying their lives in your sweatshops to create your wealth; or in sexual slavery to satisfy the wealthy European and American businessmen. And yes, you use them to extort and blackmail the parents of immigrants as we see today. And when you CAN’T use the children of the oppressed people in this country, you consign them to a “hunger games” scenario where a few can make it out by fighting for one of the few cherished spots, while the rest are consigned to lives of either exploitation or incarceration.

Fuck YOU America!

  1. This is an actual case of a woman from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who is being represented by the ACLU in a suit against the U.S. government to stop the practice of separating parents applying for asylum from their children.
  2. “The Cruel Ploy of Taking Immigrant Kids from Their Parents”, by Dora Galacatos, Alan Shapiro and Brett Stark, New York Times, February 28, 2018  [back]


Revolution newspaper/revcom.us, the voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, provides the foundation, guideline, and organizational scaffolding for the whole process of carrying out our strategy for revolution. Through publishing works of Bob Avakian, and through many different articles, interviews, letters, graphics, and other features, Revolution enables people to really understand, and act to radically change, the world.



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