Trump’s War Against Poor & Persecuted Refugees A Growing Human Rights Disgrace

Justice For Jakelin: Lawmakers Demand Answers In Death Of 7-Year-Old Girl In Border Patrol Custody

Democracy Now! (12/19/18)

Outrage is mounting over the death of a 7-year-old indigenous Guatemalan girl in Border Patrol custody, as lawmakers demand answers for the conditions that led Jakelin Caal Maquín to die after being detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Maquin died on December 8, two days after she and her father presented themselves at the border alongside 161 other Central American asylum seekers.

She had been held in detention for more than eight hours when she began to have seizures. Border Patrol agents brought the girl to the hospital after her body temperature spiked to 105.7 degrees. The 7-year-old died of dehydration, shock and liver failure at an El Paso hospital less than 24 hours later. We speak with Clara Long, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Link to Story, Transcript and 18-Minute Video


How U.S. Policies Created & Fuel Central American Refugee Crisis Long Before Jakelin Caal Maquín’s Death

Democracy Now! (12/19/18)

s public outrage grows over the death of Jakelin Caal Maquín, a 7-year-old indigenous Guatemalan girl who died in Border Patrol custody, we discuss U.S. policy in Central America with Greg Grandin, prize-winning author and professor of Latin American history at New York University.

Searching for answers after Jakelin’s death, Grandin points to border militarization policies dating back to the Clinton administration and the closure of safer urban routes to the U.S. border. He also links the displacement of Jakelin’s family to the U.S.-backed coup in Guatemala in 1954 and economic policies that destroyed subsistence agriculture in her region.

Grandin’s latest piece in The Nation, co-authored with Elizabeth Oglesby, is titled “Who Killed Jakelin Caal Maquín at the US Border?”

Link to Story, Transcript and 15-Minute Video


Mental Health Experts & Rights Groups Call For Unceasing Media Coverage Of Detained Migrant Children

Viscious and venemous

Democracy Now! (12/19/18)

It’s been more than four months since a judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite all families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, but 140 children are still separated from their parents in U.S. custody. It is believed that 30 children will never be reunited. Despite this, family separation is no longer in the daily headlines. We speak with a Harvard psychologist who is trying to change this by calling on U.S. media outlets to highlight the growing number of days that migrant children have been forcibly separated from their parents. Dr. Paula J. Caplan is a clinical and research psychologist and associate at the DuBois Institute at Harvard University. She is leading a coalition of human rights groups and mental health professionals calling attention to the ongoing family separation crisis.

Link to Story, Transcript and 12-Minute Video


Who’s Keeping Track? A Petition Calling For Continuous Media Attention To The Separation Of Children From Refugee Parents

CARE2 petition

We represent a coalition of human rights groups and concerned citizens that on December 10, 2018, Human Rights Day, sent out a press release asking major U.S. news media outlets to keep front and center in the public eye some crucial information about the growing number of days that refugee children have been separated from their parents. We hope you will join this effort by signing and sharing this petition, which will be sent to media outlets asking them to take action.

Sources suggest that in the past year, 2,667 babies and children were separated from their refugee parents for an average of 83 days each. Of those, 140 are yet to be reunited, and 30 will not be returned to their parents. There have been reports that at least some of these children have been injected with powerful psychiatric drugs without consent. The trauma, emotional devastation, and damage to these children, as well as to their parents, are unconscionable and likely irreparable. One lawsuit includes allegations that some of the children have been injected with powerful psychiatric drugs.

“We are calling on American news media outlets to begin announcing the number of days these children have been separated,” said Harvard psychologist, Dr. Paula J. Caplan. “It’s time news outlets adopted the reporting strategy of CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite during the Iran hostage crisis, when he ended his broadcasts by stating the number of days for which the 52 hostages had been held. Cronkite’s practice had significant effects on public awareness, The public needs to know that these abuses are continuing, and can only appreciate the extent of the trauma if the press itself refuses to allow awareness to fade.”

We ask that news outlets display, via electronic sign or chart updated daily, the duration in days of the longest of these separations as well as the number of children still separated. “The welfare of these children has too quickly passed largely out of view of the public. We urge the media to move quickly to ensure ongoing media coverage of this massive human tragedy,” said Sandi Capuano Morrison, CEO of the Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma. Only an informed public can stand against unjust policies; do your part to ensure that this information, and the children themselves, are not lost to public view.

Sign Petition